Humber NHS Trust Community Nurses 'Stretched To Limit'

NHS Nurse Shortages Are Stretching Services In East Yorkshire To 'Breaking Point'


Dave Grimshaw, Press Officer | 0114 274 4397

Staff shortages in Humber NHS Foundation Trust could leave people in hospital for longer, as the service is struggling to hire enough community nurses.

When most people leave hospital as outpatients, they receive a period of care from hospital-trained nurses that visit them in their homes and this ensures a better, more comfortable recovery, according to the Hull Daily Mail.

The system has also been credited with helping NHS wards to free up beds that would otherwise be occupied by people that do not need them.

But in East Yorkshire, the service has become stretched and is nearing breaking point because of a lack of staff and this means more outpatients are having to spend their time in hospital when they recover - wasting money and time.

Angie Mason, Humber NHS Foundation Trust deputy chief executive and director of nursing, commented: "Each nurse is doing between nine and 12 visits a day. At the moment, they are managing but I don't want the nurses short-circuiting just to get the numbers through.

"If the situation doesn't change soon, there will come a point where we have to say: 'We can't take them'. We want to work with our partners to get things sorted."

In order to ease the problem, Humber NHS will create 20 new community nursing posts to supplement its existing workforce, but with trusts increasingly turning to foreign labour markets for their staff, it is unclear whether the East Yorkshire authority will be able to source personnel for these roles locally.

A spokesperson for Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust said it is medically inappropriate to keep people in hospital longer than is necessary and community nurses are vital for the prevention of this resource-wasting endeavour.

The hiring deadline for the latest round of nurses will end today (18th October), so interested NHS staff should submit their applications as soon as possible.

Expert Opinion
This situation is worrying for both staff and patients. A lack of community nurses not only means the existing workforce is stretched to its limits, but it also means that beds could be potentially taken up by people who should be discharged, preventing others from being able to stay on the wards.

It is not a good use of resource to have people taking up beds when their recovery will be better served in the community. The danger is that mistakes could potentially creep in if current staff are over-worked while people who need to spend time in hospital may find themselves without a suitable bed.

The NHS talks about patient choices and it is crucial that people are able to get the appropriate treatment they need so that their safety is not compromised."
Lisa Jordan, Partner