£1.5m for 150 new nurses in Sheffield

News: Local, national and international news 24-hours a day.
News: Local, national and international news 24-hours a day.

Health chiefs in Sheffield have pledged to spend £1.5 million on new nurses at the city’s hospitals.

Up to 150 nurses will be joining the wards later this year at sites including the Northern General and Royal Hallamshire hospitals as part of a big recruitment drive.

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals says extra staff are needed to tackle rising demand and to care for increasing numbers of ‘sick and dependent’ patients.

The £1.5m will be on top of current spending.

A report to a meeting of the trust’s board of directors today says the emergency department is particularly short-staffed.

In 2012-13, beds were brought back into use to admit more patients.

“Despite a great deal of effort and investment across health and social care, these beds have remained open through 2013 and into 2014,” said the report.

“This sustained increased demand was reflected across services nationally.”

Surgical services are also understaffed ‘to a lesser extent’.

Prof Hilary Chapman, the trust’s chief nurse, said: “The £1.5m investment is part of planning to ensure we provide the right level of nursing care, in the right place and at the right time.”

She said the trust was working alongside Sheffield’s universities to help create a pool of newly-qualified candidates, and that 50 clinical support workers have recently been taken on.

Last month draft NHS guidance suggested patients were at risk of harm if a nurse had to care for more than eight people on a general ward during the day.