United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust (ULHT) will invest an additional £2.6 million over the coming year to expand their nursing and midwifery workforce.
The trust recently carried out an ‘establishment review’, looking at nurse and midwifery staffing across all wards in all of its hospitals.
This review looked at how many Registered Nurses, Midwives and Healthcare Support Workers are employed on each ward, which varies depending on the number of beds, the estate, and the different conditions cared for by them.
The investment will increase the number of staff on most wards to ensure they remain safe and to reduce the amount of money spent on expensive agency staffing to fill the gaps. It will also pay for an additional 25 (whole time equivalent) Registered Nurses and Midwives, and 57 Health Care Support Workers.
This comes as more than 30 midwives from Lincoln County Hospital gathered outside Lincoln Cathedral to make their voices heard in a plea for help on Sunday, November 21.
The midwives claim maternity services are grossly understaffed with midwives working 13-hour shifts without a break on a regular basis.
Dr Karen Dunderdale, Director of Nursing for ULHT, said: “We carried out our establishment review so that we could be assured that the nursing and midwifery staffing levels across our wards continue to be appropriate and sufficient, in light of the recent pandemic.
“This is about ensuring that our nursing and midwifery establishments and shift arrangements deliver the best possible quality of care to our patients, whilst making sure we use our resources efficiently.
“We know that having permanent staffing in place, rather than using lots of agency staff, is best for patients and for the Trust. It just makes sense.
“I’m delighted that we have been able to secure the investment to both recruit these new staff members, and also to support them in an ongoing way once they start with us to ensure they stay.”
Meanwhile, a Stamford mum – Polly McIntosh-Hurst was affected by the understaffing problem. She had planned a home birth, but when she went into labour there were no midwives available.
The delivery suite at Peterborough City Hospital was closed at the time because of a shortage of staff, and the baby’s father had to help deliver baby Clementine around eight weeks ago, according to BBC.
Peterborough City Hospital is run by North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust, who declined to comment on the birth when approached by the BBC.