Leicester NHS trust hospitals spend and extra £2m on nurses - but more needed
Hospitals are to spend £2 million on extra nursing staff - but more are still needed.
A review which looked at 100 wards across University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust found there were not enough staff on wards.
The shortfalls were particularly acute in services for women and children, according to a report in the Health Service Journal (HSJ). There were also too few nursing staff for patients with cancer, heart and breathing problems.
The report said the £2 million would be spent on recruiting 42 qualified nurses and 25 health care assistants.
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However, it is understood another £800,000 would be needed to fully fill the shortfall.
Carole Ribbins, director of nursing at the trust, told HSJ all the new staff would be in place before winter.
The first recruits will be for wards which have been identified as being short of six or more full-time staff.
Ms Ribbins said: "The acuity (the degree of illness) of patients and the dependency of patients has been increasing.
"We have had wards where the youngest patient has been 90 years old."
However, she said: "I am confident we have safe staffing levels to provide high-quality care."
Ms Ribbins said the trust had carried out "a very thorough review" of staffing and another would be done next year.
A report to the trust's governance and risk management committee said although further investment would be required, staffing levels "based on nurse to bed ratios" were "adequate to provide safe levels of care".
The trust told HSJ the extra recruitment would create a ratio of 65:30 qualified to unqualified staff – similar to the ratio of 65:35 recommended by the Royal College of Nursing on wards looking after the elderly.
Zuffar Haq, a member of the Leicester Mercury Patients' Panel, said: "We have known for some time that staffing levels have been inadequate at Leicester's hospitals and have been urging managers to recruit more people to the wards so that patients can be looked after effectively.
"This is essential. The staff do a fantastic job but there are just not enough of them."