Nurses in tears over hospital problems

NURSES have been reduced to tears because they fear they are not providing adequate care at Ipswich Hospital, it emerged today.

NURSES have been reduced to tears because they fear they are not providing adequate care at Ipswich Hospital, it emerged today.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) is extremely worried about the pressures being placed on nursing staff at the hospital, with dozens of extra beds added to wards to cope with demands on the over-stretched hospital.

However bosses at the Heath Road site said staffing levels were reviewed on a daily basis and the hospital was doing the best it could.

The fresh worries come after The Evening Star highlighted the problems blighting Ipswich Hospital, with patient's operations cancelled at the last minute, and others moved in the middle of the night.


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Pauline Entwistle, RCN joint convenor at Ipswich Hospital, said: “In December the trust went into full escalation.

“Since then between 17 and 57 extra beds have been made available in the hospital, using areas where the bed base had been reduced previously because of infection control issues.

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“These extra beds are in use today and the staff are very upset. They feel they are letting the patients down.

“Nurses feel that they can't deliver the care that patients should receive. We have had staff in tears about it.

“When I go round the wards and talk to nurses they are at their wits' end. I think we need more nurses and also to review the bed base.”

She said the hospital had closed numerous wards over the last three years, leaving it unable to cope when demand for its services peaked.

Andrew Reed, Ipswich Hospital's chief executive, said: “The whole of the NHS has been through an incredibly difficult winter.

“The big issue for us over the winter was not that we didn't want to open beds or take on more staff but that we couldn't.

“The big factor was staff sickness. Most hospitals were put in the position of having a high emergency workload as staff sickness peaked.

“I think we have to manage in the best way we can.

“We just can't turn the tap on very quickly in terms of staff.

“Our staffing levels compare well with national levels. We don't deny at all that there are times of great stress and pressure on the hospital, but I am confident that we have got processes in place to deal with them.”

What should be done to tackle the problems at Ipswich Hospital? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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