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High-quality, safe, compassionate care - backed by extra investment

Board shows it’s serious about compassionate care with £1.7million boost for nursing

The Board of Directors at Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has shown it’s serious about patients receiving high-quality, safe and compassionate care – as it agrees to invest an extra £1.7M to pay for more nursing staff on its adult and children’s in-patient wards.

The move adds to the £1.7M already ploughed in to nursing and midwifery over the last two years, supporting the recruitment of more than 100 newly qualified and experienced staff – and taking the hospital’s expenditure on nurse staffing to over £27M a year (just over an eight of its annual £200M budget).

Director of Nursing and Patient Care, Lynn Andrews comments: “We are determined to make sure the right people, with the right skills, are in the right place, at the right time. Our first and most important action is to give our patients high-quality, safe, compassionate care that meets their needs.  This decision by the Board is right for patients - and gives us an opportunity to really make a difference to the standard of care we provide. It shows that we are serious about improving the care we give.”

Staffing levels are increasingly under the spotlight. Guidance issued by NHS England and the Care Quality Commission states that every hospital ward must publicly display details of required and actual staffing levels by the end of June. This forms part of the government’s response to the Francis report, which highlighted how chronic understaffing led to poor care at Stafford Hospital.

“We want local people to be able to see for themselves what staff we have working on the wards every day,” continues Lynn. “We already display planned and actual staffing numbers for each shift - so our patients and visitors can be assured of safety.  Our six-monthly nurse staffing reviews are already available on-line and from the end of May we will publish the monthly report our Board will start to receive. It’s not just about recording numbers though, it’s about the public having confidence in the hospital and knowing we will take action if there are staffing issues and gaps we need to address. This means our ward matrons leading and reviewing their services daily, and working together with colleagues to seek a solution to any issues – such as pooling of staff from other clinical areas, or arranging for temporary staff.”

The proposed changes to skill mix and staffing levels will support improvements on wards across the hospital and include:

 

  • Improved post-operative care for children that have had day case surgery;
  • Increased support to the Emergency Department – so a specialist paediatric nurse can be available around the clock;
  • More nursing staff on the day case ward in the mornings - when the volume of activity is at its highest;
  • Additional support on orthopaedic wards - for patients that have high-dependency needs and complex care requirements;
  • Extra support for patients who have been in critical care and are returning to a medical ward after surgery such as tracheostomy (a surgical procedure where the surgeon creates an opening in the neck at the front of the windpipe);
  • Higher levels of nursing care for the frail elderly patients, patients in stroke rehabilitation, those under going major surgery, complex cancer treatments and blood transfusions; and
  • Additional support for a range of wards - where workload demand and complexity of patient need is increasing and unpredictable.

 

The hospital will also continue with a number of other initiatives that will help to attract new staff to the hospital and make sure staffing levels are safe.  These include:

 

  • Giving students nurses set to qualify during the year an early offer of employment;
  • Holding and attending recruitment fayres and open days;
  • Making it easier for existing nursing staff to move to other jobs in the hospital;
  • Recruiting overseas from areas where nurse training meets UK standards – such as Portugal and Italy;
  • Having a managed service for bank and agency staffing from July 2014 – to ensure all temporary nursing, midwifery and care staff meet agreed minimum standards of education, training and behaviours and to reduce the high costs expenditure associated with agencies; and
  • Continuing to expand an e-rostering IT system in all clinical areas – helping to use staff efficiently and plan effectively for annual and other leave.

 

“These developments will make sure we put this money where it’s needed most,” concludes Lynn.  “And the investment will make a real difference to the quality of care we provide when it’s most needed, for example when an elderly frail patient needs urgent orthopaedic care for a broken hip; or when someone has had complicated cancer surgery and needs extra support after their operation.  The Board has demonstrated that quality, safety and compassion are the overidding factors in ensuring our patients have an exceptional experience.”

 

ENDS

Contact: Communications 01246 512681, 513193 and 513875