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Yorkshire acute trust becomes latest to seek extra nurses to cope with capacity pressures

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Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals Foundation Trust has announced it is investing £7m in additional nursing and bed capacity this year.

The trust has pledged to increase capacity at its three hospitals – Doncaster Royal Infirmary, Bassetlaw Hospital and Montagu Hospital – by 80 beds between now and autumn in light of the increasing numbers of emergency patients requiring admission. 

The trust also said it was also recruiting additional nurses across its hospitals. 

The move will see 51 extra beds created on existing wards by keeping open beds that would usually close during the quieter summer months and by converting space currently used as offices into single en-suite patient rooms. 

A further 19 beds will be created by converting the trust’s headquarters into a new ward. The 10 remaining new beds were already due to open as part of a new rehabilitation centre being developed.

Trust chief executive Mike Pinkerton said: “There has been a noticeable rise in the number of seriously unwell patients who need hospital care. The majority are frail older people, often with long-term conditions like heart or lung disease.

“We’re determined to take action so we’re putting our money where our mouth is and investing £7m in creating additional bed capacity with extra nursing staff.”

The trust is investing £3m for the estates work needed to create the additional beds, while the remaining £4m investment will fund extra nurses and revenue costs associated with 80 more beds.

Recruitment of additional nurses began in March and will continue on a rolling basis to ensure staff are in post and ready as the additional beds are created, the trust said. 

South Tees Hospitals Foundation Trust announced a similar move earlier this week, noting it had been “exceptionally busy” over the last six months.

It plans to open up 28 additional beds in a new acute medical ward as well as extra beds planned for other medical, surgical and trauma specialties.

To coincide with the extra bed capacity the trust said it was looking to recruit over 100 new staff, including nurses and in particular those with experience.

Earlier this month the Doncaster and Bassetlaw pledged to back the principles of Nursing Times’ Speak Out Safely campaign.


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