SOLIHULL Hospital’s trust will plough an extra £1.4 million into nursing - making cutting staff sickness, the safe discharge of patients and high standards of care its priorities.
Supervisory ward sisters, across the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust’s hospitals, will be devoting more time to their managerial responsibilities as part of the move, sparking a major recruitment drive for extra nurses.
In an interview with the Solihull News, the trust’s chief nurse Mandie Sunderland said she was delighted with the move, which has been given national emphasis in the recent publication of the Francis Report into failings at Mid Staffordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
“Management is key, particularly to the running of a hospital ward,” said Mandie.
“This is something we have been looking at doing for a long time and not just as a result of the Francis Report.
“It’s not a new role, it’s about giving the supervisory ward sisters more time to undertake their leadership responsibilities.
“Hospitals are getting busier and patients tend to be sicker, so it is important we build on the excellent leadership we already have at the hospitals,” she added.
The trust will be looking to recruit an extra 49 staff nurses, with 10 being taken on at Solihull Hospital.
Mandie said it was important the sisters are visible and maintain a presence on the ward.
“Patients and families like to see sister on the ward and this can’t happen if they’re behind a curtain.”
Reducing nurse sickness levels will also be a focus.
“It’s about looking after the nurses as well as we can.
“As soon as a nurse goes off sick, we have to pay an agency to replace that member of staff.
“If we can reduce our nurse sickness by just one percent, it can save us £1 million.”