You are here

All reports

Inspection report

Date of Inspection: 15 March and 13 April 2011
Date of Publication: 6 June 2011
Inspection Report published 6 June 2011 PDF

Contents menu

There should be enough members of staff to keep people safe and meet their health and welfare needs (outcome 13)

Meeting this standard

We checked that people who use this service

  • Are safe and their health and welfare needs are met by sufficient numbers of appropriate staff.

How this check was done

Our judgement

People who use services are safe and their health and welfare needs are met by sufficient numbers of appropriate staff.

User experience

We visited three wards, the outpatients department and minor injuries unit. We saw people’s needs being met effectively and sensitively, and we did not see people being left waiting or ignored. We observed staff speaking calmly and clearly with patients and their relatives, spending enough time with them and supporting them during a meal time. One patient told us: “The staff know what they’re doing and want to help you. The hospital’s small and personable.”

CQC’s adult inpatients survey (April 2011) found that nearly 80% of 390 people thought there were enough nurses on duty to provide patient care.

We saw in patients’ care records that when ward staff referred patients to other professionals, they were usually seen within a reasonable length of time. There was a friendly and supportive atmosphere in all the clinical areas we visited. In outpatients, we saw that each clinic was well staffed with health care assistants who helped take patients through the various waiting and clinic areas, and added to the smooth running of the clinics.

Other evidence

We spoke with staff and patients on the wards and in outpatients who told us there were enough staff with the right skills to meet the needs of the patients. Qualified and care staff said they are well supported by domestic and administrative staff and porters. One member of staff told us that even when the wards were busy there were always enough staff to meet patients’ needs, although it was difficult to allocate staff and they could not spend as much time with patients as they would like to. Some staff told us there were delays accessing specialist staff who were based at the main King’s Mill Hospital site.

The hospital manager told us there are currently a high number of vacancies as part of planned workforce transformation, as services are reconfigured to meet financial challenges. A number of staff have been employed on temporary contracts to cover the vacancies and these contracts are being extended for another two months. There is a robust procedure for workforce change and the hospital manager runs a weekly staff forum where staff can raise concerns. There is also a bi-monthly joint staff partnership forum, attended by senior managers, staff support coordinators and union representatives, where issues such as workforce review, equality and diversity and staff welfare are discussed.

The trust’s Mandatory Training Policy (updated Nov 2009) defines essential training and sets out which staff groups must receive different types of training, how often and how long the training is. Mandatory training incorporates topics such as fire awareness, infection control, moving and handling, medical devices, safeguarding adults and children and basic life support. Training and development is a standing agenda item in the inter-departmental meetings. The hospital manager ensures that staff attend mandatory training through reports from human resources on staff who failed to training sessions, and this is followed up through line managers and the inter-departmental meetings. All the staff we spoke with confirmed they attend annual updates of mandatory training and access a range of learning materials on the trust intranet.

The hospital manager reviews staff absence and return to work records with team leaders on a monthly basis. She checks that appropriate actions have been taken, such as phased returns to work. We spoke with a member of staff who had been off for some months who was very happy with the support from the hospital in a phased return to work. The hospital manager formally meets staff with a poor attendance record, and supporting people to manage at work is discussed in her supervision sessions with team leaders.