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Francis complains Mid Staffs nurse numbers still not high enough

The number of nurses employed at Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust is still not high enough, the head of the independent inquiry into failings at the trust has warned.

Robert Francis QC said he was disappointed the trust had not yet brought nurse numbers up to recommended levels.

But he said it was hard for a trust to recruit in these circumstances.

He said: “There are significant difficulties on the recruitment of nurses, particularly at a hospital under this degree of scrutiny.”

But the trust said it had significantly increased numbers since the inquiry completed its evidence gathering and now had only 10 vacancies. The chair Sir Stephen Moss said he was very pleased with the progress it had made.

Readers' comments (5)

  • I do hope that all trusts & purchasers of care will recognise that good safe care cannot be bought on the 'cheap' by holding vacancies to save money , cutting frontline staffing etc as part of cost improveemnt plans and reducing training.

    Good leadership costs too in terms of investment & empowering those to deliver.

    Is the government & SHA's going to ask each trust to do a gap analysis based on this report & hold them accountable but also supporting them to prevent it happening again - mmmm - I think that we will need money in order to do that and/or think very differently so the answer will probably be no.
    What price has this cost patients & their families & staff = dont think we can put a figure on it.

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  • It is not acceptable to hold nursing vacancies. This practice is detremental to patient care and to job satisfaction within teams of nurses. How can nursing staff be expected to continue to deliver when they are tired, pressured, intimidated and can see on a daily basis how the shortages of staff are effecting the care they are able to deliver to their patients?

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  • Things are getting beyond a joke now with staff cuts. It is just not possible in a short staffed busy 24 bedded surgical ward with a high turnover of patients to do everything!
    I do 12 hour shifts and yesterday afternoon, after the staff who only ever do early shifts left we were left with 3 trained and a care assistant! We had 13 post op patients as well as admissions and the usual nursing duties. I felt that patient care was compromised due to the excessive work load. This is a regular occurance but it's only a matter of time before something serious happens. Any concerns fall on deaf ears as the budget is so overspent!

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  • The community is the same - more important to keep costs down then to keep quality. We have been told that it is face-to-face contacts that count not what we do when we get there. We have been told we have GOT to see the number of patients given to us - no debate!

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  • We have lots of vacancies for qualified nurses at my Trust. We cannot get good applicants, if they turn up for interview in the first place. we need quality nurses with the right attitude in order to give quality care. and we need managers to listen to staff who are concerned about delivery of care in their area.what to do when no-one wants to work... its not the fault of front line staff.

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