Patient safety warning at Princess Royal Hospital

October 12, 2015

A senior nurse at the Princess Royal said she is ‘very concerned’ about patient safety due to ‘staff shortages’ at the hospital.

The nurse, who wished to remain anonymous, said the trust has capped on the number of agency staff used on each shift.

The Princess Royal Hospital, in Haywards Heath, is run by Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals Trust.

Speaking to the Mid Sussex Times, the nurse said: “I work in the Princess Royal and am very concerned over our patient safety. The hospital has introduced a cap on agency staff to try and stop our overspend.

“There will be a cap on a maximum of three agency staff on a day shift and three in a night.

“Managers will not put shifts out to agency and pressure is being put on us to cover with substantive staff however we can.

“This is not enough to cover all the nurses that are needed.

“We believe patient care will be compromised. At the weekend on a night the site was 11 trained nurses short.

“Frontline services will be affected.”

She said training is also being cancelled to ‘cover the shortfall of staff’, adding this was ‘alright in the short term’ expressed concern the nurses are missing out on vital training.

Agency staff are more expensive than using trust nurses and bank staff – who are a reserve of trust staff willing to take on extra shifts.

A spokesman for Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals Trust said: “Every Trust in the country has been asked to reduce the amount they spend on agency staff to ensure they are getting the best value from tax payers’ money.

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