Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 4°C

min temp: 0°C


Health secretary slammed for Ipswich Hospital tweet about safe staffing levels

PUBLISHED: 17:26 21 January 2018 | UPDATED: 10:09 22 January 2018

Health minister Jeremy Hunt. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Health minister Jeremy Hunt. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY


Jeremy Hunt has come under fire for a post he put on social media following a private visit to Ipswich Hospital.

The health secretary tweeted a colour-coded rota put together by the NHS trust that appeared to show serious workforce gaps and praised it as “really clever use of technology to ensure safe staffing levels”.

The post has so far attracted 1,800 mostly negative comments.

Jack Frost wrote: “You do know this spreadsheet exposes the terrible staffing levels don’t you Jeremy? Clue: see the red bits!”

Catriona Thompson added: “Do you really believe that the place is safer just because the multitude of rota gaps are shown on a screen in pretty colours? Really? Please don’t tell me you do.”

While Ben White, an NHS doctor in London, simply asked: “You do understand what that sheet is actually saying, don’t you Jeremy?”

Labour MP for Leicester South, Jonathan Ashworth, mocked: “Really clever use of twitter to show how understaffed our NHS actually is.”

However, Jan Ingle, head of communications at Ipswich Hospital, said the rota was a dummy that was presented to Mr Hunt during his visit this week as an example of one of the tools the trust used to monitor staffing levels.

She said: “This is a patient safety tool, just one of many ways we make sure our staff levels are safe. What was shown was an example.

“It’s used daily by the senior nurses and clinicians and we would take immediate action if any reds were showing.”

The Department for Health was approached but did not wish to comment.

The NHS workforce crisis was laid bare when new figures showed more than 3,000 nurses in the East of England quit their jobs during 2016/17.

This was the first time since 2012/13 that the number of leavers outweighed the starters.

During an interview with the BBC, Lisa Nobes, director of nursing at Ipswich Hospital, said the trust was losing four nurses a month.

Mr Hunt also visited Broomfield Hospital this week where he was met by protestors from the Defend our NHS Chelmsford campaign.

The activists wanted to send a message to Mr Hunt that they opposed the proposed merger between Broomfield, Basildon and Southend hospitals.

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Domestic abuse campaigners in Suffolk have welcomed news that crimes will be treated as more serious if they are committed in a domestic setting under new sentencing guidelines.

An Ipswich medium will spook celebs this week as part of a new television series.

Suffolk’s superstar singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran has been awarded a Brit Award for ‘Global Success’.

Ipswich Borough Council is set to waive all fees for funerals of children from within the borough after a change in its fee structure was agreed at a full council meeting.

A winter weather front nicknamed the Beast from the East is set to strike the region early next week - causing temperatures to plummet and the chance of snow flurries.

Renewed concerns have been raised over the handling of proposals to cut free home-to-school transport for thousands of children in Suffolk.

Suffolk’s highways website has been inundated with problem reports – many from frustrated drivers issuing angry warnings about the “dangerous” condition of the county’s roads.

Over 1,000 people have signed an MP’s petition calling for the trust behind the under-fire Felixstowe Academy to be removed, but senior leaders still insist they will turn around the school.

A ward councillor concerned about the closure of one of Ipswich’s largest care homes has said she is “puzzled” by the lack of demand for its services – as fellow health leaders claim they are seeing a spike in older people needing care, not a fall.

Two new shops are the latest to join a rapidly expanding out-of-town shopping complex near Ipswich, bosses have announced.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24