Rise in nurse numbers at East Lancashire hospitals

THE number of nurses in East Lancashire’s hospitals has risen significantly in the last five years, new figures have revealed.

Nursing and midwifery staff have risen from 2,921 working in 2008 to 3,582 this year.

Lynn Wissett, chief nurse at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “Nurses form the largest group of staff within the trust and are a crucial part of the healthcare team.

“The number of nurses has increased as the number of patients treated continues to rise.

“We are currently in the process of recruiting to both permanent and temporary-bank nursing posts as we seek to create a flexible and patient centred workforce throughout winter pressures and beyond.”

ELHT is currently advertising a further 12 more vacancies for full and part-time staff.

Recruitment campaigns for other health professionals are on-going but are no longer advertised as they are either at the interview or pre-employment stages of the process.

The figures come following the Lancashire Telegraph’s report in August which found temporary agency nursing staff cost ELHT £9.3 million in 2011/12.

Thetrust has managed a 15 per cent cost reduction by establishing an in-house staff bank, and has an electronic rostering system aimed at controlling spending and improving staff performance.

Mrs Wissett said: “The Trust is in the fortunate position to be able to provide our own internal nursing bank agency to all services within the trust, therefore allowing us to co-ordinate and develop supplementary staffing to support and improve patient care.”

Sickness absence among staff at ELHT for 2011/12 was on average 4.19 per cent per month, above the expected threshold of 3.75 per cent last year.

She said: “Our staff bank is able to provide 97 per cent cover to all our nursing shifts offering skilled, experienced, familiar nursing staff instead of using external agency staff.”

Comments (6)

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6:38pm Fri 14 Dec 12

mavrick says...

It seems that at last the management have listened to people. The local hospitals have been understaffed for years, they have got by using agency and bank nurses. There can be no substitute for regular staff on the ward. It is reassuring for patients when they get to know the staff.When the local maternity homes were closed a few years ago we were all promised more midwives in the community so more women could have home births. It did not happen. So I watch and wait as the PR exercise gets in to gear.
It seems that at last the management have listened to people. The local hospitals have been understaffed for years, they have got by using agency and bank nurses. There can be no substitute for regular staff on the ward. It is reassuring for patients when they get to know the staff.When the local maternity homes were closed a few years ago we were all promised more midwives in the community so more women could have home births. It did not happen. So I watch and wait as the PR exercise gets in to gear. mavrick

7:47pm Fri 14 Dec 12

speaks the facts says...

Yes but what they are doing is making nurses interview for their own jobs and downgrading the positions to lower bands .Meanwhile it will be intereseting to see how many more managers have been employed and what grade of pay they are on.
Yes but what they are doing is making nurses interview for their own jobs and downgrading the positions to lower bands .Meanwhile it will be intereseting to see how many more managers have been employed and what grade of pay they are on. speaks the facts

9:57pm Sun 16 Dec 12

Fire Fly says...

Must be difficult to achieve this when there's been a recruitment ban for at least 2yrs & newly qualified nurses haven't had posts to apply for....
Must be difficult to achieve this when there's been a recruitment ban for at least 2yrs & newly qualified nurses haven't had posts to apply for.... Fire Fly

8:07am Mon 17 Dec 12

kate11 says...

speaks the facts is correct..Nurses and midwives are being downgraded to save money!! They are being re interviewed for their own jobs and in many cases experienced staff who are fed up with all of this are leaving or retiring early!! The hospital is being staffed by younger inexperienced staff at lower grades as the wage bill is cheaper! They may boast more staff but how many are trained staff and how many are untrained nursing assistants who are used to boost the numbers?
speaks the facts is correct..Nurses and midwives are being downgraded to save money!! They are being re interviewed for their own jobs and in many cases experienced staff who are fed up with all of this are leaving or retiring early!! The hospital is being staffed by younger inexperienced staff at lower grades as the wage bill is cheaper! They may boast more staff but how many are trained staff and how many are untrained nursing assistants who are used to boost the numbers? kate11

4:49pm Mon 17 Dec 12

VicLou says...

Hmm .... more 'fiddling numbers' like all the other 'fiddling' that goes on in that trust to meet targets!! I bet the staff their wonder where all these extra staff are!!!
Hmm .... more 'fiddling numbers' like all the other 'fiddling' that goes on in that trust to meet targets!! I bet the staff their wonder where all these extra staff are!!! VicLou

10:17pm Mon 17 Dec 12

kate11 says...

Just looked at the NHS jobs site for East Lancs and there is only a job advertised for a newly qualified midwife! How come so many senior midwives have recently retired and they are being replaced with newly qualified staff?? Is this to save money? Also there are no adverts for recruitment of nursing staff as Mrs Wissett seems to think that there are!! Also why is the sickness rate above average? Signs of an unhappy workforce methinks!!
Just looked at the NHS jobs site for East Lancs and there is only a job advertised for a newly qualified midwife! How come so many senior midwives have recently retired and they are being replaced with newly qualified staff?? Is this to save money? Also there are no adverts for recruitment of nursing staff as Mrs Wissett seems to think that there are!! Also why is the sickness rate above average? Signs of an unhappy workforce methinks!! kate11

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