Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Trusts slip back on nurse levels after special measures exit

  • Comment

Two acute trusts in Lincolnshire that were taken out of special measures after recruiting scores of nurses have slid back to their old staffing levels, according to workforce analaysis.

United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust and the neighbouring North Lincolnshire and Goole Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust were among the 11 providers placed in special measures in 2013 after a review by NHS England medical director Sir Bruce Keogh.

“The number of substantive nurses has fallen since last year as we struggle to replace the staff who leave”

Pauleen Pratt

Monthly data from the Health and Social Care Information Centre for 2013-14, 2014-15 and the first quarter of 2015-16 shows both trusts had significant year-on-year falls in substantive nurse headcount after exiting special measures.

United Lincolnshire left the regime in March and North Lincolnshire exited in July 2014.

In the first quarter of 2013-14, immediately after being put in special measures, United Lincolnshire employed 2,202 nurses. During the same period in 2014-15 the figure was 2,312 – an increase of 5%.

But the latest data – analysed by Nursing Times’ sister title Health Service Journal – shows a fall of slightly more than 5% by the same period in 2015-16, when 2,193 nurses were employed.

Over the whole of 2014-15, its spending on agency staff was £21.6m, up from £21.3m the previous year.

Pauleen Pratt, chief nurse at the trust, said: “The turnover of nurses and midwives remains constant. The number of substantive nurses has fallen since last year as we struggle to replace the staff who leave, particularly at Pilgrim Hospital, Boston.”

The problems come despite the board investing an extra £500,000 on nursing staff last December. The organisation hoped to recruit 39 registered nurses and 26 unregistered with the money.

In October, the trust recruited 20 nurses from Poland and Romania, a spokeswoman said.

Meanwhile, in the first quarter of 2013-14 North Lincolnshire employed 1,688 nurses. During the same period in 2014-15 the figure was 1,775 – also an increase of 5%.

But there was a fall of 4.1% by the same period in 2015-16, when 1,702 nurses were employed.

Over the whole of 2014-15, the trust’s spending on agency staff was £21.4m, up from £15.3m the previous year.

The trust said that until the announcements by the health secretary on agency staffing in June, it had not monitored how much of its spending was with more expensive off-framework agencies and had used its own “evaluation matrix” to assign shifts.

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.