Mid Yorkshire NHS Trust faces CQC action over staffing

Pinderfields Hospital

An NHS trust is facing action from the health watchdog after struggling to find enough nurses to care for its patients.

Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust has told its staff a warning notice is expected from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) following an inspection of its services.

Martin Barkley, chief executive of Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust.

Inspectors who visited the organisation, which runs Pinderfields, Pontefract and Dewsbury hospitals, were concerned about a shortage of nurses on wards.

The staffing problems were exacerbated by the trust having to open temporary beds - requiring even more nurses - to cope with the number of patients needing care.

Record keeping also suffered as a result of staffing shortfalls at Mid Yorkshire, which is among NHS trusts around the country struggling with a national shortage of nurses.

In an e-mail to staff, Mid Yorkshire chief executive Martin Barkley staff were praised as “positive and optimistic” by the CQC, and that no immediate safety issues were raised ahead of the full inspection report being published.

But he added: “However, the inspectors were concerned about the shortage of Registered Nurses on the wards, and the consequences of the Trust having so many escalation beds which made the staffing problem worse, in some cases compromising patient experience regarding the dignity and respect standard.”

Mid Barkley said the trust would have to urgently tell the CQC how it would rectify the staffing problems, and that an action plan was being drawn up.

He wrote: “On behalf of the board I want to reiterate our thanks to the huge efforts made preparing for the inspection, the excellent way staff engaged with the inspectors, and for the sustained hard work everyone does to improve and provide the best possible service despite the great difficulty we have (like very many Trusts) of being able to recruit to the vacancies we have in the Trust and not needing escalation beds.”

Mid Yorkshire latest staffing report shows there were almost 230 nursing and midwifery vacancies in March.

An NHS-wide shortage of nurses has been worsened by difficulties recruiting from EU countries because of Brexit.

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