QCC warns of staff shortage at Shire Hill

The Quality Care Commission has warned of understaffing at Glossop's last remaining hospital, resulting in patients not receiving appropriate care and records being improperly logged. Staff at the 36 bed Shire Hill Intermediate Care Unit in Old Glossop told inspectors that on occasions there was a single nurse on duty for both units, and that they were very often short staffed and found it difficult to carry out all their duties on the staffing ratios provided at night time. In particular, they found it difficult to undertake routine tasks such as checks of controlled drugs and equipment checks. They also advised that at times they were unable to take a break during a 12 hour shift as it would leave the units with no registered nursing staff.

The Shire Hill Rehabilitation Unit was warned to improve staffing levels immediately by inspectors who visited the hospital in September following a report of low staffing levels at night.  They found that patients on both the Ludworth and Charlesworth Units of the hospital were not receiving timely and appropriate care at all times, and nurse staffing levels were insufficient on both units. Senior managers at the hospital did not address staffing issues adequately or quickly and failed to fully recognise or manage the problem. In some cases staff did not apply an early warning system to monitor deteriorating patients properly, resulting in patients not receiving timely review by a doctor or closer observation. The inspectors found that staff were kind compassionate and helpful and that the hospital was clean and infection control protocols were well maintained. Read the full report here.

Hospital bosses were quoted as saying that recruiting staff for the Bute Street unit "has been particularly challenging due to its remote location but we have successfully raised staffing levels, and are working closely with health economy partners on long term solutions to provide more permanent staff”, and said that they had suspended intake while new staff were recruited.

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