An experienced assistant director of nursing is to be deployed to Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust on the orders of chief nursing officer for England Dame Christine Beasley.
The trust has also been instructed to recruit extra frontline nurses, a night matron and a professional development nurse in response to a review by the Department of Health’s emergency care tsar, published last week.
Professor Sir George Albert, national clinical director for urgent and emergency care, carried out a follow-up review of the trust at the request of ministers following the Healthcare Commission’s highly critical report published in March.
He concluded that there have been significant improvements since the original investigation, which began in 2007, and care was now safe. But he said there were still too few nurses at the trust.
Nursing levels were ‘unsatisfactory’ in A&E and adverse publicity had also deterred qualified staff from working on three of the trust’s medical wards, he said.
Professor Alberti said: ‘There continues to be a major need for improvement with regard to nursing at the trust. Many of the problems I heard about relate directly to bedside care. I heard several harrowing patient experiences that had occurred in the last three months. My view is that this relates in part to poor staffing numbers.’
Additionally he said there was still room for improvement in the culture at the trust. ‘In my view, they have been under pressure for so long that “adequate” care is seen to be good enough,’ he said. ‘Overall there needs to be a swift change from a “make do” culture to a “can do” culture, particularly on the wards.’