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More nurses to work on wards at night at Chichester and Worthing hospitals
Hospital bosses are spending an extra £500,000 to have more nurses on the wards at night.
The extra staff will work across seven inpatient areas at Worthing Hospital and St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester.
The move by Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust was in response to issues raised by the Francis Report on failings at Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust. The report drew attention to nursing levels and consistency of care, which prompted Western Sussex to carry out an independent review into its staffing levels.
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In a message to staff, chief executive Marianne Griffiths said that there was a “clear, compelling case for action regarding nursing cover at night”.
She said: “It is an undeniable fact that failing to invest in proper levels of nursing care has predictable and dire consequences for patients. People staying on our wards need to be cared for in an environment which is well led, well organised, and well staffed by colleagues who are committed, caring and skilled.
“There is no agreed model of how many nurses is ‘enough’, but there is widespread agreement that in places like Stafford, where hospital care went badly wrong, one of the underlying causes of the problems was a shortage of nursing staff, both registered and unregistered.
“In general terms, the staffing levels for inpatient areas at our trust are in line with, or better, than those you would find elsewhere.
“But the Francis Report into the failings in Staffordshire drew attention to nursing numbers, and consistency of care, as factors which the NHS must consider more closely.
“In the discussions held with staff in the weeks after the Francis Report was published, it was clear that many of you felt that we needed to look again at our own numbers, and to consider whether patient safety could be strengthened still further.”
Wards which currently have three members of nursing duty overnight will now have four people instead – two nurses and two healthcare assistants – to bring it into line with other areas of the trust.
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