"Nursing staff always on the go on Ward B50"

About: Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust / Mental Health Services for Older People – Inpatient

(as the patient),

Bearing in mind how nursing staff are always on the go, it can sometimes be very frustrating if you have a very immediate problem to sort but cannot gain immediate access.

Could I suggest that 1 staff member on the ward be available as a nominated 'listener' (every other half hour or something?).

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Response from Involvement Team, Involvement & Experience, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust We are preparing to make a change

I can understand the frustration that staff always appear busy, and yes, there are a number of reasons that contribute to a heavy workload at present that I would like to share with you. We have some staff off sick and a `limited budget to cover this with other staff (or sometimes no staff) provided by the NHS Professionals nursing agency.

Lots of the current inpatient group have physical health problems and high nursing dependency needs which take a priority, including escort to physical health tests. I can see why we always seem on the go because we are!

But what can we all do to make this better for everyone?

Firstly, we can talk about this in a patients meeting so that staff and patients can discuss difficulties and find solutions together including how we might encourage patients to make an approach to us to discuss concerns. Perhaps we could look at patients approaching any grade of staff; the HCA’s are excellent listeners and able to offer support or relay concerns to trained staff.

Secondly, I will raise the issue in a staff meeting about us looking at ways to increase our availability; considering the suggestion already made and how that might happen .

Thirdly, for trained staff to utilise the ‘named nurse’ time to best advantage, to make appointments with their patients. (Each patient has an allocated nurse on admission and the nurses name is written on the notice board over the patients bed)

Ward demands are variable and unfortunately we are at its mercy, but we will do our best to present a more ‘listening face’.

Thank you for sharing this feedback with us.

Helen Forrester, Ward manager B50

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