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Urgent nursing review launched by North Cumbria hospitals trust

An urgent review into nursing levels at north Cumbria’s hospitals has been launched.

Cumberland Infirmary photo
Cumberland Infirmary

Bosses at the trust which runs both Carlisle’s Cumberland Infirmary and the West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven announced the review.

It is estimated that about five per cent of senior nurses will be forced to assume more junior positions – although the trust has guaranteed there will be no pay cuts or redundancies.

It is a direct result of the recent publication of Sir Bruce Keogh’s review into shocking mortality rates within North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust.

The scathing report praised the action already being taken, but said much more needed to be done to address urgent concerns.

The trust was one of 14 being reviewed and one of 10 subsequently placed in special measures by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

Among the recommendations made by the Keogh review was that the North Cumbria trust should urgently review staffing arrangements. Inspectors urged that this was done as soon as possible, to minimise the impact on staff morale.

Now the trust has announced it is beginning a consultation period with some staff, which it says will address the current skill mix imbalance which exists across some wards.

The review also wants to ensure there is appropriate nursing leadership and safe and effective nursing care at all times, for all patients.

The changes will not affect specialist nurses, only those on ward areas.

The proposed changes will see the introduction of a new leadership structure: a dedicated ward manager will be on every ward, supported by two senior nurses.

A spokeswoman for the trust said the model is “tried and tested” and insisted all ward managers and senior nurses will take part in a leadership development programme.

“As a result of changes,” she continued, “it is estimated that under five per cent of senior nursing staff will need to be re-banded from their current roles to become part of the core nursing team on the wards.”

RCN Northern Regional Director Glenn Turp, northern regional director for the Royal College of Nursing, said that while the union will be working with staff and management as part of the review, he felt “unable to comment” on the process until he could see the outcome.

He added: “However, what we would hope to see are positive changes to the skills mix imbalance and nursing shortages to ensure the safe and effective care of all patients.”

Consultations began today and are scheduled to run until the week beginning August 19. The changes will come into effect from October 1.

The trust is also continuing to work closely with the NHS Trust Development Authority to meet the other Keogh requirements.

There are currently 1,420 registered nurses working in the trust, not including healthcare assistants.

Senior nursing staff are classified as those in band 6 or above.

Have your say

Many months ago, nursing staff had a vote of no confidence in the senior management team. A group of senior nurses wrote a letter to the Whitehaven News. All of these were concerns were disregarded by the management team and the senior nursing team. Now that the concerns have been justified by CQC and the Francis reprot, I'm sure many of those nurses feel that their actions were justified. The senior management has not changed dramatically. Some people have been moved around. The nursing review for which was 'lead' by the Acting Director of Nursing' has been ongoing for quite a while.It's about time concerns were raised to the professional bodies including the Nursing and Midwifery Council. If people aren't prepared to fall on their swords, or the Trust is not prepared to sack people then the professional bodies should act. Tje public should feel free to contact the Nursing and Midwifery Council with concerns about nursing staff. Nursing practice is currently 'lead' by the Acting Director of Nursing. If it is not up to scratch or hasn't been then that individual is answerable to a professional tribunal.

Posted by Tim on 1 August 2013 at 21:05

yet again nurses have to suffer and left to feel more undermined and degraded at a time where moral is at its lowest! many nurses were down graded at the last review- it doesn't make sense when those nurses have worked hard to get where they are! shifts are always short staffed and we just have to do our best and prioritise. if its about money, get rid of some managers and business managers as there is too many!!

Posted by anon on 31 July 2013 at 19:49

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