Nurse claims low staff levels are costing lives

NURSES at Colchester General Hospital said critically low staffing levels are to blame for high death rates.

A senior nurse, with 30 years experience at the Turner Road hospital, said there can be as few as two nurses to a 32 bed ward.

She also claims staff regularly stay two hours after their shifts to finish paper work and endure 12 hour stints without a break.

Full report in Wednesday's Gazette.

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2:36pm Tue 12 Feb 13

Hamiltonandy says...

Remember when Matron ruled the ward with an eagle eye. She was in charge and even doctors were under her control. Now managers and paperwork come first and qualifications are more important than practical nursing skills. Contrast this with Halstead cottage hospital that barely survived the brutal restructuring.
Remember when Matron ruled the ward with an eagle eye. She was in charge and even doctors were under her control. Now managers and paperwork come first and qualifications are more important than practical nursing skills. Contrast this with Halstead cottage hospital that barely survived the brutal restructuring. Hamiltonandy
  • Score: 0

3:29pm Tue 12 Feb 13

stadium medic says...

I have family who work there and when I ask what sort of day they had, all I get was busy rushed off their feet only nurse on the ward at times with students to mentor. This is bad practise and needs to be looked at before it get beyond repair.
I have family who work there and when I ask what sort of day they had, all I get was busy rushed off their feet only nurse on the ward at times with students to mentor. This is bad practise and needs to be looked at before it get beyond repair. stadium medic
  • Score: 0

5:26pm Tue 12 Feb 13

rowhedge-dave says...

If that ratio is correct, ie. two nurses looking after thirty two patients then this needs to be investigated.

What then happens when one of the nurses is say on a comfort break and there is an emergency with more than one patient?

Clearly this can not be considered as 'due diligence' or management providing adequate nursing provision.

No wonder the mortality rate is high!
If that ratio is correct, ie. two nurses looking after thirty two patients then this needs to be investigated. What then happens when one of the nurses is say on a comfort break and there is an emergency with more than one patient? Clearly this can not be considered as 'due diligence' or management providing adequate nursing provision. No wonder the mortality rate is high! rowhedge-dave
  • Score: 0

10:15pm Tue 12 Feb 13

tellitasitreallyis says...

Now this is new. When I had to go to CGH because my wife was there for more than a week. There was plenty of nurses on duty all the time, and they left for home on time.
This news article is just a cover up to save their **** from being ran by fools.

Staff are there, but only interested in sitting around the nurses station talking about what ever, that nothing to do with work.

I remember a time being told that all the staff were busy on the Wivenhoe wing with a patient that is dying.
Now I have all the sympathy for that patient and the family. But does it really take every nurse and doctor on duty to take care of one person?

The next day they gave an elderly lady on the Wivenhoe ward an enema and left her for more than four hours before they thought about getting up of their rear ends. Stop their gossiping, go in and do something.
My wife who was there in lots of agony, and she was over at this elderly lady's bed taking care of her the best she could.

I have photos of blood stains, needles in trays left for all to get hold off. There was even bowls of sick left around for all to see.

But there at the nurses station I counted at least 10 members of staff sitting and standing around there. The conversations were not that of patients.

Yet if you go over the main passage to other wings. It is like being in a different hospital all together. Staff work hard to take care of the sick and the place is spotless.

Talking to staff there in other departments about Wivenhoe and Brightlingsea, the colour drains from their faces. Even they call them the wards of death!
Now this is new. When I had to go to CGH because my wife was there for more than a week. There was plenty of nurses on duty all the time, and they left for home on time. This news article is just a cover up to save their **** from being ran by fools. Staff are there, but only interested in sitting around the nurses station talking about what ever, that nothing to do with work. I remember a time being told that all the staff were busy on the Wivenhoe wing with a patient that is dying. Now I have all the sympathy for that patient and the family. But does it really take every nurse and doctor on duty to take care of one person? The next day they gave an elderly lady on the Wivenhoe ward an enema and left her for more than four hours before they thought about getting up of their rear ends. Stop their gossiping, go in and do something. My wife who was there in lots of agony, and she was over at this elderly lady's bed taking care of her the best she could. I have photos of blood stains, needles in trays left for all to get hold off. There was even bowls of sick left around for all to see. But there at the nurses station I counted at least 10 members of staff sitting and standing around there. The conversations were not that of patients. Yet if you go over the main passage to other wings. It is like being in a different hospital all together. Staff work hard to take care of the sick and the place is spotless. Talking to staff there in other departments about Wivenhoe and Brightlingsea, the colour drains from their faces. Even they call them the wards of death! tellitasitreallyis
  • Score: 0

7:08am Wed 13 Feb 13

HARRY438 says...

I went to A+E recently & the duty doctor worked 12hr+ shifts on a daily basis. She was on her feet most of the time & they all have my sincere thanks for their dedication to patients.Can't say the same for the cleaners,but I suppose they are working half price market forces?
I went to A+E recently & the duty doctor worked 12hr+ shifts on a daily basis. She was on her feet most of the time & they all have my sincere thanks for their dedication to patients.Can't say the same for the cleaners,but I suppose they are working half price market forces? HARRY438
  • Score: 0

7:10am Wed 13 Feb 13

HARRY438 says...

theres a 'for' missing in the above post.
theres a 'for' missing in the above post. HARRY438
  • Score: 0

11:13am Wed 13 Feb 13

Shambolic says...

There is no doubt what this nurse is saying is true and has been going on for a long time. 'Comfort breaks' are rarely taken due to the shortage of staff. Many nurses are having breakdowns due to the pressure they are placed under. The hospital relies on their human decency not to walk off and leave patients unattended, most staff work way beyond their paid hours.
There is no doubt what this nurse is saying is true and has been going on for a long time. 'Comfort breaks' are rarely taken due to the shortage of staff. Many nurses are having breakdowns due to the pressure they are placed under. The hospital relies on their human decency not to walk off and leave patients unattended, most staff work way beyond their paid hours. Shambolic
  • Score: 0

11:47am Wed 13 Feb 13

romantic says...

I have to say that when I´ve had to visit people at CGH, this has also been my impression: nurses under enormous pressure to cope with more people than they can reasonably handle. Result: those who can make themselves heard get dealt with, those who are frail and elderly and without visitors go down the queue.

The problem is too many layers of management who scarcely know where the wards are, and perhaps not keeping it at the front of their minds that the reason the hospital is there is to look after patients.
I have to say that when I´ve had to visit people at CGH, this has also been my impression: nurses under enormous pressure to cope with more people than they can reasonably handle. Result: those who can make themselves heard get dealt with, those who are frail and elderly and without visitors go down the queue. The problem is too many layers of management who scarcely know where the wards are, and perhaps not keeping it at the front of their minds that the reason the hospital is there is to look after patients. romantic
  • Score: 0

1:08pm Wed 13 Feb 13

wellnow says...

I think the government would see this as whistle blowing?
I think the government would see this as whistle blowing? wellnow
  • Score: 0

9:48pm Thu 14 Feb 13

Hamiltonandy says...

Perhaps the only way to bring back a caring NHS is to copy the autonomous Hospice system. They have well paid staff but a huge number of volunteers with a shared ethos. Also operating more specialist NHS hospitals might be more cost effective than a huge general hospital.
.
Smaller hospitals can be more economically built and run. The management structure is flattened. It is true that the hospital would own less sophisticated equipment but even Colchester Hospital has to pay the private Oaks hospital for access to some scanners.
.
With antibiotics becoming less effective the problem of cross infection must be higher in a huge air conditioned hospital than a specialist unit with fewer patients and visitors.
.
Most private hospitals are small and paying patients expect clean rooms and efficient treatment. If only NHS patients were listened to by mangement but no, nothing happens untill 100s extra deaths occur and no one is responsible.
.
It has got to the state that you can be terrified of going into NHS hospital and instead put up with a treatable problem. The repeated government "reorganisations" do not seem to have helped. How the original founders of the NHS would have despaired seeing the dream of the 30s become an insoluble nightmare.
Perhaps the only way to bring back a caring NHS is to copy the autonomous Hospice system. They have well paid staff but a huge number of volunteers with a shared ethos. Also operating more specialist NHS hospitals might be more cost effective than a huge general hospital. . Smaller hospitals can be more economically built and run. The management structure is flattened. It is true that the hospital would own less sophisticated equipment but even Colchester Hospital has to pay the private Oaks hospital for access to some scanners. . With antibiotics becoming less effective the problem of cross infection must be higher in a huge air conditioned hospital than a specialist unit with fewer patients and visitors. . Most private hospitals are small and paying patients expect clean rooms and efficient treatment. If only NHS patients were listened to by mangement but no, nothing happens untill 100s extra deaths occur and no one is responsible. . It has got to the state that you can be terrified of going into NHS hospital and instead put up with a treatable problem. The repeated government "reorganisations" do not seem to have helped. How the original founders of the NHS would have despaired seeing the dream of the 30s become an insoluble nightmare. Hamiltonandy
  • Score: 0

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