Hospital puts �750k into nursing staff

IPSWICH: A town MP has welcomed news that Ipswich Hospital is investing �750,000 in new nurses in the wake of a damning report showing poor standards of care for the elderly.

Dr Dan Poulter wrote to the Heath Road hospital’s chief executive, Andrew Reed, after the publication of the Care Quality Commission report which found the hospital was failing to meet basic standards of care for older patients, to find out what improvements were being made.

But health chiefs have insisted standards are getting better, with senior nurses spending more time with patients and checking them more often, giving families more chance to visit loved ones and making sure patients get the food and drink they need.

Dr Poulter said: “As an NHS hospital doctor, I know from experience how the top-down management culture and dogmatic devotion to targets have served to divert attention away from frontline patient care.

“I was therefore pleased to hear that senior staff at Ipswich Hospital have already taken action to address the shortcomings identified by the CQC, and are pushing ahead with a number of improvements to elderly patient care at the hospital.

“Ipswich Hospital is taking positive steps in putting patients before targets to ensure that the neglect shown towards older patients does not occur again.”

The hospital’s management board has approved a plan to invest �750,000 in new nurses, although they have said this is not in response to the report.

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A spokeswoman said: “The reason we’re doing this is not as a result of the CQC inspection. We regularly review and benchmark staffing levels and we do that at least twice a year. This investment is the result of the latest review.”