Following publication of the Keogh Review, North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust will today begin consultation with some staff as part of an urgent nursing review.
The Keogh Review report recommended the Trust should urgently review staffing arrangements and that this should be completed as soon as possible in order to minimise the impact on staff morale.
Today, North Cumbria will begin a period of consultation, with some staff, to address the current skill mix imbalance which exists across some wards and to ensure appropriate nursing leadership and safe and effective nursing care at all times, for all patients.
This only impacts on ward areas and not specialist nurses.
The proposed changes for a new leadership structure will ensure wards have a dedicated ward manager who is responsible for providing clear leadership and accountability at ward level and two senior nurses who can also provide appropriate leadership and guidance to the nursing team.
This is a tried and tested model which is in place in many high performing NHS organisations across the country and all appointed ward managers and senior nurses at North Cumbria will take part in a leadership development programme.
As a result of changes, it is estimated that under five per cent of senior nursing staff will need to be re-banded from their current roles to become part of the core nursing team on the wards where they can focus solely on delivering patient care.
Consultation with affected staff will begin from today and close week commencing 19 August, with changes due to come into effect from 1 October. There will be no redundancies as a result of the change and those senior nurses affected who will be transferred to the core nursing team will have pay protection in line with Trust policy.
The recent recruitment drive to increase nursing numbers is not impacted by this change as those recruited were allocated the appropriate band for the post.
Mrs Chris Platton, acting director of nursing and quality said: “One of the key priority actions from Keogh outlined the need for us to urgently review our staffing arrangements and we have been working closely with all partners to ensure a swift process for staff.
“It is vital that our frontline nursing teams have clear leadership and lines of accountability on the ward and also that our nurses have time to do what they do best and provide nursing care for patients. This new model – which will replicate the highly successful ward leadership model at Northumbria Healthcare – means we can greatly improve the safety of care and experience of our patients.”
As part of this urgent nursing review and in line with the actions detailed in the Keogh Review report, North Cumbria is working closely with the NHS Trust Development Authority (TDA).
All affected staff have been briefed on the changes and will take part in consultation meetings during August which will explain the assessment process for ward leadership posts.