A STAFF shake-up is under way at St Mary’s Hospital to ensure there are enough nurses on the wards.
The Isle of Wight NHS Trust is to implement measures ensuring there is at least one registered nurse per eight patients during the day and one per 11 patients at night. It will also ensure a safe number of registered nurses are on duty alongside unregistered ones.
The move follows the publication of several national reports criticising inadequate staffing levels at hospitals across the country, particularly at night and at weekends, and the effect on patients’ safety.
Implementing the proposals on Appley Ward would cost £47,000, according to a report published last week. If the costs were extrapolated and applied to all 17 of the hospital’s ward and clinical areas, they would amount to £799,000.
The trust’s deputy director of nursing, Sarah Johnston, said staffing levels were safe.
"We are largely where we want to be already and we are certainly comfortable staffing levels on our wards are safe, but these principles set out a framework for safe staffing so we can provide robust assurance to the board," she said.
"We need to look at moving staff around to ensure the ratios and skill mix are as effective as possible.
"If we are not achieving these principles, we need to show it’s for a good reason — we would want more healthcare assistants than nurses on some wards at certain times, for example.
"I anticipate the final cost will be a lot lower than the extrapolated figures suggest. We have not costed the principles in detail, which is one of the areas we will be working on before we present detailed proposals for each ward to the board in the new year."