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The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery Good

All reports

Inspection report

Date of Inspection: 12 November 2012
Date of Publication: 20 December 2012
Inspection Report published 20 December 2012 PDF

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

We reviewed all the information we have gathered about The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, looked at the personal care or treatment records of people who use the service, carried out a visit on 12 November 2012 and observed how people were being cared for. We checked how people were cared for at each stage of their treatment and care, talked with people who use the service, talked with carers and / or family members and talked with staff.

Our judgement

There were enough qualified, skilled and experienced staff to meet people’s needs.

Reasons for our judgement

There were enough qualified, skilled and experienced staff to meet people’s needs.

When we visited the hospital we asked patients if they thought there were enough nurses to meet their needs. Most told us they felt there were enough nurses. We received the following comments:

“I can always speak to a member of staff. I use my call bell when needed.”

“The staff are around to help.”

“The nurses are available when we need them. They are better than other places I’ve been before.”

The areas we visited were busy, but there were no areas where there were not enough staff to meet patient’s needs.

When we visited the intensive care units staff told us they felt they had enough staff to meet the needs of their patients. On the day of our visit 1-2-1 nursing was being provided on the Neuromedical Intensive Care Unit. We were also told they had good access to physiotherapy.

On the High Dependency Unit we were told by staff that they felt pressurised since the introduction of new pathways. However, they felt they were capable of meeting the needs of their patients through overtime and bank working. We were told that potential recruitment for new staff was also under review.

When we visited Lady Anne Allerton ward, we were told there were six qualified nurses and two healthcare assistants during the day and four qualified nurses and two healthcare assistants at night. Members of staff we spoke with told us they thought they had enough staff to meet the needs of their patients. They also said they were able to vary staffing levels according to the dependency of the patients. This would be done through staff overtime and bank staff. Agency staff were not being used on the wards.

When we visited David Ferrier ward there were five qualified nurses working and five unqualified members of staff. Three of these staff members had been moved from other wards to assist on the ward and two were members of bank staff. We asked staff if they felt under pressure due to the vacancies. They told us they felt they were coping, but that it had been very busy. To cover shifts they had been requesting support from other wards.

Following the inspection we asked the trust for information on the staffing levels for the ward. This showed that in October 2012 the ward was funded for 34.7 WTE (whole-time equivalent) members of staff. It had 24.8 WTE in post. This meant the ward had vacancies 9.9 WTE, including six WTE qualified nurses. During October the ward had been required to request 222 shifts were covered. 158 (71%) of these had been filled by bank staff. The provider might like to note there were a large number of vacancies on David Ferrier ward, which meant many shifts were having to be covered. Not all of these had been. The trust told us they had previously tried to recruit to these roles. In the week following the inspection we were told that further interviews had been conducted.