Are patients suffering from hospital staff cuts?
PUBLISHED: 06:35 22 June 2006 | UPDATED: 09:28 24 May 2010
VULNERABLE elderly patients in Weston General Hospital are having to wait hours to get a drink because of a reduction in staff levels. Nurses at the hospital claim patients are suffering because of moves by hospital chiefs to cut staff in a bid to balance
VULNERABLE elderly patients in Weston General Hospital are having to wait hours to get a drink because of a reduction in staff levels.Nurses at the hospital claim patients are suffering because of moves by hospital chiefs to cut staff in a bid to balance the books.Earlier this year Weston Area Health Trust announced it was to slash the number of beds at the hospital and at the same time reduce staffing levels to save money.But nurses say although staff numbers have reduced, the number of beds hasn't, putting massive pressure on what they describe as a 'skeleton staff.'One concerned nurse, who telephoned the Weston & Somerset Mercury, said often elderly patients were being left for hours while staff attended to others on the ward.The nurse, who refused to be named because of fear of reprisals, said: "The number of staff has been cut but the number of beds hasn't."The patients are really suffering because the staff are struggling to deal with the number of people on each ward."Some of these elderly people are having to wait hours to be turned and given a drink."The nurse, who says she and her colleagues are 'at the end of their tether' said the hospital was supposed to reduce the number of beds on each ward from 32 to 24.She added: "The hospital has not reduced the number of beds as it promised."We are working on a practically full ward of 32 beds as before, but with four rather than six staff."A spokesman for Weston Area Health Trust said: "The trust is currently reorganising the way care is delivered within the hospital because our primary care trusts are reducing the number of patients they will send to us for treatment, as more care is provided in the patients home's and community settings."A planned reduction in surgical and orthopaedic beds is part of this. However, last week we experienced an unseasonal number of emergency admissions."As a result we have had to make a very small adjustment to the rate at which we have removed capacity from the hospital, but plan to continue with the bed closures later this week."We are continually reviewing the ward staffing as a result of these actions to ensure patient care is not compromised."HAS one of your friends or relatives suffered as a result of the staff cuts? Were you a patient at the hospital who had to wait for hours to be seen? Ring a reporter and tell us your story on 01934 422500.