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Dudley Group of Hospitals Foundation Trust

Keogh review highlights Dudley staffing concerns

The Dudley Group of Hospitals has said it is to carry out a review of staffing levels after concerns raised by the Keogh review panel.

During the review of the hospital the trust’s largest ward, with 72 beds, had a nurse ration of just one registered to 14 patients and a planned skill mix ratio of 40 per cent registered staff to 60 per cent unregistered.

On its second largest ward with 48 beds the ratios were one nurse to 12 patients plus a floating band 6 and band 7 nurse. It was noted to have a 50:50 registered/unregistered ratio of nurses.

Issues around staffing levels were noted in a July 2012 report to the board and the review concluded: “The mix between registered to non-registered nurses in the wards visited was often below both the nationally recognised good practice levels and the required levels identified in the trust’s staffing investment paper.”

Trust chief executive Paula Clark said the trust accepted the findings and would be carrying out a review of staffing using the Safer Nurses toolkit.

She added: “We will also be carrying out an audit of the acuity of patients and looking at the number of nurses we have got which will be completed in August. We will also be looking at our nurse to bed ratios.”

Ms Clark explained the 72-bed ward was split into 12 bedded stations but had now been completely split into two wards with a nurse manager for each as of July 1.

She supported the review and its approach saying: “This has been one of the most far reaching and in depth reviews I have ever experienced in the NHS. If it is going to be used by Mike Richards as a template I think it is a good one.”

The trust is one of three of the 14 which will not be placed into special measures.

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