Colin is a Research Fellow within the School of Health Sciences. He is based in the Long-Term Conditions and Ageing Research Cluster. The vision of this group focuses upon dementia care, frailty and multi-morbidity in older people, non-medical prescribing, self-management of long-term conditions, workforce preparation and models of care. Colin is an Early Career Researcher who's current work focuses on the impact of delegation of medicines administration to non-registered healthcare workers.
His research interest are wide reaching and include the use of physical activity and exercise in healthcare and self-management of long-term conditions. Colin completed his BSc (Hons) in Sports Therapy from London Metropolitan University, an MSc in Clinical Exercise Science at the University of Portsmouth and completed his PhD at the University of Stirling focusing on exercise referral schemes and their use in combating non-communicable disease. Colin has provided sports therapy support to semi-professional and professional football teams and worked within the NHS as a paediatric respiratory therapist.
Introduction Healthcare workforces are currently facing multiple challenges, including aging populations; increasing prevalence of long-term conditions; and shortfall of registered nurses. Employing non-registered support workers is common across many countries to expand service capacity of nursing teams. One task delegated to non-registered support workers is medication administration, which is considered a complex task, with associated risks. This is an important topic given the predicted global increase in patients requiring assistance with medication in community settings. This review explores the evidence on delegation of medication administration from registered nurse to non-registered support workers within community settings to better understand factors that influence the process of delegation and its impact on service delivery and patient care. Methods The review followed key principles of Critical Interpretative Synthesis and was structured around Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta‐analysis guidelines. Literature searches were conducted in MEDLINE, CINAHL, Embase, and ProQuest-British Nursing Index databases. Twenty studies were included. Results Findings are reported under four themes: 1, Regulatory and contextual factors; 2, Individual and team level factors; 3, Outcomes of delegation; and 4, Process of implementation and evaluation. Delegation was found to be a complex phenomenon, influenced by a myriad of interconnecting factors at the macro, meso, micro level. At the macro level, the consistency and clarity of government and state level regulations was found to facilitate or impede delegation of medication administration. Lack of clarity at the macro level, impacted at meso and micro levels, resulting in confusion around what medication administration could be delegated and who held responsibility. At the micro level, central to the interpretation of success was the relationship between the delegator and delegate. This relationship was influenced by personal views, educational and systems factors. Many benefits were reported as an outcome of delegation, including service efficiency and improved patient care. The implementation of delegating medication administration was influenced by regulatory factors, communication, stakeholder engagement, and service champions. Conclusion Delegation of medication administration is a complex process influenced by many interrelating factors. Due to the increased risk associated with medication administration, clear and consistent regulatory and governance frameworks and procedures are crucial. Delegation of medication administration is more acceptable within a framework that adequately supports the process, backed by appropriate policy, skills, training, and supervisory arrangements. There is a need for further research around implementation, clinical outcomes and medication errors associated with delegation of medication administration.
Aims To explore stakeholder perspectives on the benefits and/or disadvantages of the delegation of insulin injections to healthcare support workers in community nursing services. Design Qualitative case study. Methods Interviews with stakeholders purposively sampled from three case sites in England. Data collection took place between October 2020 and July 2021. A reflexive thematic approach to analysis was adopted. Results A total of 34 interviews were completed: patients and relatives (n = 7), healthcare support workers (n = 8), registered nurses (n = 10) and senior managers/clinicians (n = 9). Analysis resulted in three themes: (i) Acceptance and confidence, (ii) benefits and (iii) concerns and coping strategies. Delegation was accepted by stakeholders on condition that appropriate training, supervision and governance was in place. Continuing contact between patients and registered nurses, and regular contact between registered nurses and healthcare support workers was deemed essential for clinical safety. Services were reliant on the contribution of healthcare support workers providing insulin injections, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. Benefits for service and registered nurses included: flexible team working, increased service capacity and care continuity. Job satisfaction and career development was reported for healthcare support workers. Patients benefit from timely administration, and enhanced relationships with the nursing team. Concerns raised by all stakeholders included potential missed care, remuneration and task shifting. Conclusion Delegation of insulin injections is acceptable to stakeholders and has many benefits when managed effectively. Impact Demand for community nursing is increasing. Findings of this study suggest that delegation of insulin administration contributes to improving service capacity. Findings highlight the essential role played by key factors such as appropriate training, competency assessment and teamwork, in developing confidence in delegation among stakeholders. Understanding and supporting these factors can help ensure that practice develops in an acceptable, safe and beneficial way, and informs future development of delegation practice in community settings. Patient or Public Contribution A service user group was consulted during the design phase prior to grant application and provided comments on draft findings. Two people with diabetes were members of the project advisory group and contributed to the study design, development of interview questions, monitoring study progress and provided feedback on study findings.