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Nurse left alone to cover ward


Campaigners have criticised a hospital trust where a nurse was allegedly left alone on a ward without cover.

The nurse, who has not been identified, was left alone on Bridlington Hospital’s Thornton Ward because of staff shortages.

According Save Bridlington Hospital Campaign Action Group, the incident occurred on 3 May because of staff cutbacks at Scarborough and North East Yorkshire Healthcare NHS Trust.

The trust has refused to hire new nursing staff and has cut back on overtime, according to the group.

Group chairperson Mick Pilling said: ‘Nurses are working under extreme pressure. Patients are not getting the care and supervision that they need in hospital to get better.’

The trust’s chief executive, Iain McInnes, said: ‘On Saturday 3 May 2008 at Bridlington Hospital a qualified nurse reported sick at very short notice potentially leaving one medical area, Thornton Ward, with one qualified nurse for the late shift. Immediate arrangements were made to cover the ward.’


Readers' comments (8)

  • I think this should be catigorised as abuse.More and more Nurses are being abused on a daily basis.Why does the Human rights laws not come in place in similair cases? I do not know.The Government should carry out projects encouraging young British indigens go into Nursing.I think Nurses are all doing a fantastic job .Well done Mates.More grease to your elbows!

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  • Doesnt sound all that unusual to me, I have known several times when just one qualified nurse has been left on my ward. It sucks. Hugely detrimental to patient care and to the nurse's well being, management are very little help and frequently just leave you to get on with it. Almost as if they couldnt care less

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  • dose this article mean there was only one member of staff, on the ward or only one qualified? in my last post it was normal practice to only have one qualified member of staff and a health support worker at a weekend looking after 15 patients, sometimes waiting list initiatives were also being carried out, on an orthopaedic ward. I agree that this is unsafe practice and leaves both the patients and staff at risk. it seems that everything is reactive rather than proactive, so until there are mortalities this cost sutting evercise will continue

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  • nothing new here then. Only last week I was the only qualified nurse with one support worker from 6.30pm when the other HCA finished her shift. This was for 20 patients, one very sick, no other ward could support as no spare staff available.

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  • It is quite unfortunate that it has just been identified that there is a shortage in a ward, I actally taught it is a well known fact that we are working under stress, This not only affects the nhs but also private sector including the nursing homes, ask the management why? it's all got to do with the cutting their budget for the year not staying witthin the budget as thier interest in more on other financial things but not patient care. I wish it will be the reverse.

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  • No surprise there! Staffing was one of the main reasons I left the NHS - I recall several shifts where there was no support and I was the only qualified nurse on duty - one on a unit of 28 beds(!) and another on a unit of 20 beds working with an agency HCA who had never set foot in a hospital previously! Fortunately, there were no major incidents during these shifts.

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  • Northampton General Hospital similar situations are a frequent occurence. Nurse are having to work seven days in a row with only fifteen minutes break each day. Not enough staff to cope with the high turn over of in patients, poorly patients etc.
    Nurses are burnt out and exhausted. The hospital is unable to provide rapid cover for sickness, absentees, annual leave and those who have decided to move on.

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  • Thats not unusual at all.I actually thought that it has become an acceptable way of working as it is happening daily and in more than one ward at some NHS hospitals. "Others do it so why not you?" the question goes. My question is, in case of any issues who is responsible? Is it the management or the poor nurse? Guys it is yur PIN at stake so watch out!! Staffing is the only reason I left the NHS as it was getting too risky.

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