"Lack of staff"

About: Rampton Hospital

(as a volunteer/advocate),

Due to the severe lack of staff at present, patients are missing out on the basics such as shaves, room cleans, fresh air and access to patient property. In addition many on and off ward activities are being cancelled leaving patients stuck on the ward board and frustrated. This is also having a knock of effect on staff too, who are missing out on breaks, leaving everyone stressed.

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Response from Helen Watkinson, Clinical Nurse Manager, Rampton Hospital, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

First of all thank you for the post, it is important that there are opportunities for putting the views of our pateints across to others within the Trust and beyond.

I am aware that in recent days we have had several episodes of unplanned clinical need within the hospital that have required significant staff support, this has been well supported, however that has had a knock on effect for other patients. The nature of our work is unpredictable and whilst extensive planning goes into ensuring that we can meet our pateints needs there are occasions when unplanned activity takes precedence.

We continue to monitor the staffing situation and are using all the resources available to us to support improvement in terms of availability.

Over the long term we are continuing to recruit staff to the hospital and there were further interviews today which had attracted a high calibre of candidate, we are investing significant resources into attracting suitable staff and engage extensively with universtities to make joining nursing, despite the challenges that face the profession, an attractive option.

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Response from David Mason, Associate Director of Nursing, Quality and Patient Experience for Forensic Services, Rampton Hospital

Thank you for your post. It is essential that we get feedback so that we can improve the service our patients receive.

Firstly I'd like to apologise for the experience you described.

In terms of the Hospital's overall staffing position, I can confirm that the hospital has throughout the last year deployed a successful recruitment strategy which has meant that we currently have only a small number of vacant posts.

It is however unfortunate that we have experienced significant spikes in patient need particularly in respect of a high number of out of hospital escorts which have required a large numbers of staff at short notice.

This has meant that we have needed to rebalance the complement of staff across the wards to maintain safe staffing numbers and to meet the needs of patients who require this higher level of staffing.

Where it has been ncessary to rebalance staffing, we acknowledge that this may have an impact on some activities, however we would expect that patients should continue to be able to access activities which meet their basic needs such as shaving, room cleaning and fresh air.

We already monitor the uptake of activities such as accessing fresh air, however we will monitor and take action where necesary in respect of the other areas you have highlighted in order that we maintain this level of activity when staffing numbers may be depleted from time to time.

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Response from Martina Griffiths, Modern Matron/Senior Nurse, The Peaks Unit, Rampton Hospital, Rampton Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to share with us the feedback and concerns regarding the level of care you feel you recieve here on the Peaks Unit. I am aware that our General Manager Diana Brennan came to see you personally to discuss your concerns prior to this posting. To re-iterate it was explained to you that due to significant clinical needs across the whole of the Hospital for a short period of time the needs and expectations of all the patients on the ward could not be met to the usual high standard and access to fresh air and shaves was delayed. Reassurance was given that additional resources had been sourced for the following day and ward numbers were increased taking into account the current level of clinical activity. The nature of our work is unpredictable and whilst extensive planning goes into ensuring that we can meet our patient's needs there are occasions when unplanned activity takes precedence. As a Direcorate we continue to work hard to manage our resources in order to provide high standards of care and ensure our staff feel safe and supported. I trust as always you will continue to approach your named nurse, ward manager and the senior management team to discuss any concerns you may have and the necessary reassurance will be provided. We will be actively monitoring the issues raised and actions have been put in place to resolve your concerns.

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