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Milton Keynes trust invests in nursing staff amid CQC concerns

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A Midlands hospital is gearing up to appoint 100 new members of nursing staff as a report warns of ward staffing shortages.

Milton Keynes Hospital Foundation Trust is investing more than £1m to appoint 39 registered nurses and 74 healthcare assistants.

The new nursing staff are due to start at the trust during September and October.

The announcement comes as the latest inspection report by the Care Quality Commission, published on 31 July, found the trust was not meeting essential standards on staffing or record keeping.

The watchdog said the trust had improved following a previous inspection in 2012, but patient concerns about staff shortages emerged during the CQC’s visit to three wards in June.

Inspectors said: “Most patients told us that staff were kind to them and respected their privacy and dignity. However, patients also told us there were not enough staff and this had impacted on the times that it took to answer their call bells.”

They added: “We remain concerned that there were not sufficient numbers of suitably skilled staff to meet patients’ needs. We found this had impacted on the care to prevent pressure ulcers and the completion of records.

“However, we were aware that there was allocated funding for recruitment and that a recent successful recruitment drive had taken place.”

The trust said the recruitment of nurses and HCAs followed an earlier review of the acuity of patient needs, which was carried out before the initial 2012 CQC inspection.

Lisa Knight, director of patient care and chief nurse, said: “Nursing and care support staff play such an important role in caring for our patients and making their experience in our hospital as positive as possible.

“With the additional staff, and an extensive training and development programme, we can go even further for our patients.”

She added: “We have been able to recruit a cohort of experienced, knowledgeable and caring people from Milton Keynes and beyond.”

The recruitment drive forms part of wider investment in the trust’s nursing staff.

Around 50 if its HCAs are currently studying dementia care with the Open University, while all matrons are studying an MBA module in quality improvement.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • I worked at MK for years. This hospital is a classic example slavish adherence to targets. Targets were, are, everything, absolutely nothing would stand in the way of achieving its target. Bullying was rife, if you spoke out, you were crushed. Staffing was at an absolute minimum. Everything was cut to the bone, supplies, cleaning materials etc. my memory of this place was of utter exhaustion. I was so busy, getting a coffee break was forgotten about. Some mornings I felt like I had a hang over, I was in fact very dehydrated. They just worked their staff into the ground. Most of the managers were plain nasty, I mean really unpleasant, not leaders of nurses, just overseers.

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