Weston General Hospital increases patient-to-nurse ratio due to rising coronavirus patient numbers
- Credit: Archant
The hospital trust which provides healthcare services at Weston General Hospital has raised its patient-to-nurse ward ratio to higher than recommended levels.
University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust (UHBW) increased its nurse staffing levels to cope with the demands imposed by the coronavirus pandemic.
Research by The Independent revealed that the trust has introduced a new policy across its two hospitals, including Bristol Royal Infirmary.
One nurse is assigned to 10 patients on all general adult wards, up from the previous ratios of one nurse to six or eight patients, depending on the ward.
This figure rises to one nurse to 12 patients during night shifts.
The ratios are higher than those recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), which says 'people are at risk of harm in wards where there is one nurse for eight or more patients'.
UHBW said the measure has been introduced temporarily due to rising Covid patient numbers and a lack of staff.
- 1 Second rapid testing centre unveiled in Weston
- 2 Man charged in connection with county lines drug dealing in Weston
- 3 Civic society 'appalled' by new health centre proposed site
- 4 Mike begins monumental challenge for Weston-super-Mare causes
- 5 Secondary school to expand to second site expected to cost £30million
- 6 Pharmacy near Weston begins Covid vaccinations
- 7 Virus 'ripping through' Weston care homes
- 8 Housing development for greenfield site in Nailsea approved
- 9 Council says it is aware of rat problem in Weston
- 10 Attempted robbery prompts police appeal
Carolyn Mills, chief nurse at UHBW, told the Mercury: “This is not a blanket change to nurse to patient ratios in our hospital but a clinically-led decision we have taken in some areas where it is safe and appropriate to do so and to help us manage the increasing demand for our services during this global pandemic.
“These decisions are under constant review based on clinical and staffing needs on a shift-by-shift basis, while senior clinicians are also on-hand to offer wellbeing support and care to colleagues if required.”
In September, an internal investigation found a coronavirus outbreak at Weston General 'may have' led to the deaths of 18 patients earlier this year.
The hospital stopped accepting new patients on May 25 until June 18, but bosses said the inquiry did not pinpoint a single cause of the outbreak.
Asymptomatic staff and patients, staff moving between wards, the size and layout of the hospital and the number and configuration of beds were all believed to have contributed to the outbreak.