‘Not enough nurses’ at under-fire Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust, say patients

Patients said there were not enough nurses on duty at a hospitals trust which is under fire for low staffing levels, a report has found.

Wednesday, 9th April 2014, 12:07 pm
Pinderfields Hospital general view

A survey published by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) places the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust, which runs Pinderfields, Pontefract and Dewsbury hospitals, among the worst in the country for patients feeling there were not enough nursing staff.

Some 55 per cent of patients who took part in the latest NHS Inpatient Survey said there were “sometimes, rarely or never” enough nurses on duty, compared to an average of 41 per cent at all other hospital trusts.

Last Friday, Mid Yorkshire announced the temporary closure of Gate 43, a 41-bed elderly ward at Pinderfields Hospital, after low staffing levels led to poor standards of care.

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The trust has been criticised by nursing union the Royal College of Nursing, which said it raised fears of low staffing levels two months earlier.

And health watchdog the CQC confirmed that it was looking into complaints about the ward and could take regulatory action.

Referring to the survey, Mid Yorkshire pointed out that most patients were happy with their care at the trust.

Chief nurse Sally Napper said: “However, this survey has also identified that the number of nurses on duty as a concern.

“This is something we take very seriously and since last summer, when the survey was carried out, we have taken action to improve this.

“We have commissioned a £1.2m recruitment drive to recruit more nurses to the trust.”

Mid Yorkshire said Gate 43 closed to admissions on March 31, and patients were being transferred to new beds at the hospital.

The Inpatient Survey also found that a higher than average number of patients felt they had to wait too long to be found a hospital bed.

Most patients were happy with their stay at the trust, with 70 per cent rating their care as seven out of 10 or above.

Some 73 per cent of patients said they were treated with respect and dignity, and 88 per cent said there was enough privacy when they were examined or treated.