A substantial investment in ward nurses and equipment has been announced across Scunthorpe, Grimsby and Goole hospitals with more than £1.6million being spent.
The money will be used to swell the ranks of nurses ensuring that the right staff, with the right skills, are in the right place at the right time across Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust’s (NLaG) hospitals.
In addition to ward nursing the Trust has purchased £500,000 worth of new equipment for the wards which is currently being rolled out. This followed a massive piece of work to audit what equipment needed replacing or updating. Funding came from Trust funds, as well as a donation from its official charity The Health Tree Foundation (HTF).
NLaG chief nurse Ellie Monkhouse said: “I am delighted to be able to announce this significant investment in our nursing teams as it will help to ensure safe, sustainable and productive staffing for the future.
“This is just the first phase of investment as we will be undertaking reviews of maternity and our community services over the coming few months.”
A total of £1.1m will be spent not only recruiting new nurses but also to provide additional support for existing staff. The move follows a review of all adult and children’s’ wards which looked at a range of things including staffing levels, patients’ acuity and dependency, temporary staffing and fill rates, roster management and retention.
Ellie said: “Patient safety is paramount to all that we do as nurses, so ensuring we have sufficient suitably qualified, competent, skilled, experienced staff to meet the needs of our patients safely and effectively is key.
“It really is about ensuring staff working on the frontline have the right staff, skill mix, and support 24-hours to ensure they can provide the high quality of care we all aspire to delivering.
“Our nursing teams have been involved every step of the way and I have met with every ward manager to review and discuss our recommendations for investment. It is essential I have their input as they are the ones delivering patient care.”
The £1.1m first phase of funding will be spent on such things as:
• Introduction of a twilight shift for registered nurses to help match activity levels of patient flow into the evening
• Support an increase in staffing at weekends
• Support better skill mix across wards
• Investment in our A&Es during twilight and more senior leadership overnight.
Ellie added: “We have embedded a new six monthly rolling review which will reflect seasonal changes and will be reported to our Trust Board. The whole aim is to ensure we have a skilled and motivated workforce which is delivering high quality patient care.”
Trust chief executive Dr Peter Reading said: “I am thrilled that we have been able to invest this extra money on our ward nursing. I also want to say a huge thank you to our incredible charity The Health Tree Foundation. It has donated a significant amount of money to help us purchase the new equipment.”
Items purchased include blood pressure monitors, nebulisers, warming blankets and sensor alarms to prevent falls.
In addition to this latest round of new equipment, the Trust announced in March a £600,000 investment over the next four years in a replacement programme for beds. In the first phase £95,000 has been spent on 80 new electric beds, 40 at Scunthorpe and Grimsby hospitals. In addition to these the Trust is also investing £232,000 in replacement birthing beds for the maternity wards.
The wards have also received 40 new patient hoists, as well as slide sheets for the end of every inpatient bed.
Clare Woodard, HTF charity manager, said: “We were delighted to be able to help the Trust with providing some of this equipment which will be used on a daily basis on wards and departments across the three hospital sites.
“We are so grateful to our wonderfully generous supporters who tirelessly fundraise for the charity, making it possible for us to provide extra help for local patients.”