‘Concerted effort’ to recruit extra nurses

HEALTH chiefs have detailed the steps they are taking to avert fears of a hospital crisis that have been raised by MPs.

David Melia, acting chief nurse at the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, said moves had been made to hire extra staff.

He said: “As an organisation, we have been very open and transparent with our local MPs about the challenges that we are facing and kept them abreast of our reconfiguration plans.

“We have made a concerted effort to improve nurse recruitment and implement innovative solutions to supplement the nursing workforce – such as introducing safety support workers to help on the wards and senior nursing staff monitoring staffing levels twice a day.

“We have introduced close monitoring by the trust board of areas where staffing levels fall below optimum levels to identify any potential risks to our patients.

“As a trust we have also made significant progress in some key areas since the last CQC inspection, for example in pressure ulcer care, role-specific mandatory training, falls prevention and medicines management – where the compliance notice was lifted. All of these areas have seen improvement.

“In addition, emergency care improvement programme work is under way to address any potential whole-system flow issues.”

On cuts he added: “We would like to confirm that the current assurance process regarding Dewsbury Hospital is to decide when, not whether, these changes should happen.

“The plans for how services should be organised in future across North Kirklees and Wakefield have been approved and are still supported. The trust’s communications and engagement plan will ensure people understand the changes.

“We will continue to share information and engage with our local community regularly, sharing plans with health and well-being boards and the overview and scrutiny committee.”

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