‘Shortages at Southampton General Hospital put patients at risk’

Daily Echo: Southampton General was one of 17 hospitals to be criticised by the Care Quality Commission Southampton General was one of 17 hospitals to be criticised by the Care Quality Commission

CAMPAIGNERS are demanding answers after health watchdogs claimed that staff
shortages at Southampton General Hospital were putting patients in danger.

The hospital is one of 17 that have been named and shamed by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), which has accused NHS trusts of failing to employ enough staff to keep patients safe.

A CQC report says inspectors visiting Southampton General Hospital found there were not enough staff on duty to meet people’s needs.

It adds: “We were told that staff responded as quickly as could be expected but that response times were worse in the mornings when people needed help.

“On another ward we were told there were not enough staff, not enough resources and that staff were run ragged.

“We were also told about an incident when people had received meals late – lunch at 1500 hours – due to shortages of staff.”

Now campaigners are demanding to know how many wards were under-staffed and what action, if any, has been taken to tackle the issue.

John Denham, Labour MP for Southampton Itchen, added: “The hospital has got to sort this out and quickly.

“There’s a lot of confusion and mess in the health service at the moment and it’s very difficult for people running big institutions, but patients have to come first and staffing levels have to be put right.

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“The big concern at this time of year is that more people are likely to end up in hospital after suffering falls or developing an infection.”

Members of the Southampton Pensioners’ Alliance voiced similar fears.

The secretary, Don Harper, said: “We’re coming up to the winter when a lot more people go into hospital. If there aren’t enough staff to look after them it’s going to make the situation even worse.”

Southampton General and 16 other sites across the UK were issued with warnings following the CQC visits. Inspectors said the hospitals did not have enough staff “to keep people safe and meet their health and welfare needs”.

Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham said the NHS now had 7,000 fewer nurses than when the Coalition came to power in May 2010.

But the Government hit back, claiming the number of clinical staff had actually risen in the past two years.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “There can be no excuse for not providing appropriate staffing levels when there are more clinical staff working than there were in 2010, including nearly 5,000 more doctors and almost 900 extra midwives.

The CQC inspection at Southampton General Hospital took place in October.

Last night the NHS Confederation, which represents managers, said it was “absolutely convinced” that all the hospitals named by the commission would have taken immediate action to improve staffing levels.

A Southampton General Hospital spokesman was unavailable for comment.

Comments (7)

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2:59pm Mon 14 Jan 13

georgetheseventh says...

Have the courage to say 'goodbye'..they say old codgers are blocking up the system..would you rather lie in hospital in severe pain with incurable cancer consuming your body just to live another day..are you that inconsiderate ?.
Freddie Mercury said...Who Wants To Live Forever..?
Have the courage to say 'goodbye'..they say old codgers are blocking up the system..would you rather lie in hospital in severe pain with incurable cancer consuming your body just to live another day..are you that inconsiderate ?. Freddie Mercury said...Who Wants To Live Forever..? georgetheseventh
  • Score: 0

3:45pm Mon 14 Jan 13

Bagamn says...

How stupid can this Government get! They cut the jobs of 5000 nurses and then say we are short of nurses to treat patients. We have too many quangos running riound looking for something to write a paper about.If we hacked the number of quangos by two thirds, the money could sponsor ten thousand nurses. We are being run by 650 sensless idiots on £165 salary that are not doing their job properly. The last two years have shown these ministers up for what they are, a total waste of space
How stupid can this Government get! They cut the jobs of 5000 nurses and then say we are short of nurses to treat patients. We have too many quangos running riound looking for something to write a paper about.If we hacked the number of quangos by two thirds, the money could sponsor ten thousand nurses. We are being run by 650 sensless idiots on £165 salary that are not doing their job properly. The last two years have shown these ministers up for what they are, a total waste of space Bagamn
  • Score: 0

5:19pm Mon 14 Jan 13

cantthinkofone says...

georgetheseventh wrote:
Have the courage to say 'goodbye'..they say old codgers are blocking up the system..would you rather lie in hospital in severe pain with incurable cancer consuming your body just to live another day..are you that inconsiderate ?.
Freddie Mercury said...Who Wants To Live Forever..?
The real tragedy is that about a third of the patients in any big hospital at any one time don't really need to be there, but there aren't the nursing home places, care workers out in the community, district nurses etc that they need. So hospitals get repeatedly criticised for having long waiting lists, not treating patients quick enough in A&E and so on - but most of these things would be much better if they could free up those wasted beds.

The staffing ratios would be better too - fewer patients would have the same effect as more nurses!

It's the PCTs (will be the GP groups soon) who have to 'commission' those community services. They don't, and then the hospitals 'fail' to meet their targets. So the PCTs can then fine the hospitals for something that's caused by the fact that they haven't spent taxpayers' money where it's needed! What a win-win situation for them! Trebles all round!
[quote][p][bold]georgetheseventh[/bold] wrote: Have the courage to say 'goodbye'..they say old codgers are blocking up the system..would you rather lie in hospital in severe pain with incurable cancer consuming your body just to live another day..are you that inconsiderate ?. Freddie Mercury said...Who Wants To Live Forever..?[/p][/quote]The real tragedy is that about a third of the patients in any big hospital at any one time don't really need to be there, but there aren't the nursing home places, care workers out in the community, district nurses etc that they need. So hospitals get repeatedly criticised for having long waiting lists, not treating patients quick enough in A&E and so on - but most of these things would be much better if they could free up those wasted beds. The staffing ratios would be better too - fewer patients would have the same effect as more nurses! It's the PCTs (will be the GP groups soon) who have to 'commission' those community services. They don't, and then the hospitals 'fail' to meet their targets. So the PCTs can then fine the hospitals for something that's caused by the fact that they haven't spent taxpayers' money where it's needed! What a win-win situation for them! Trebles all round! cantthinkofone
  • Score: 0

5:20pm Mon 14 Jan 13

bigfella777 says...

It's not always due to staff shortages as such,it's because so many are off sick. There are so many germs flying around in hospitals like winter vomiting that staff are bound to get ill and they are not allowed into work for obvious reasons.
It's not always due to staff shortages as such,it's because so many are off sick. There are so many germs flying around in hospitals like winter vomiting that staff are bound to get ill and they are not allowed into work for obvious reasons. bigfella777
  • Score: 0

5:44pm Mon 14 Jan 13

cantthinkofone says...

bigfella777 wrote:
It's not always due to staff shortages as such,it's because so many are off sick. There are so many germs flying around in hospitals like winter vomiting that staff are bound to get ill and they are not allowed into work for obvious reasons.
Good point. I spoke to a friend who does agency work earlier - she's constantly booked at the moment. I thought she'd say it was a cost cutting thing, but she didn't... Apparently there are loads of nursing jobs going in hospitals in the South, but not enough nurses around to fill them. Is there a national shortage of nurses or something? It's a tough job to be fair..
[quote][p][bold]bigfella777[/bold] wrote: It's not always due to staff shortages as such,it's because so many are off sick. There are so many germs flying around in hospitals like winter vomiting that staff are bound to get ill and they are not allowed into work for obvious reasons.[/p][/quote]Good point. I spoke to a friend who does agency work earlier - she's constantly booked at the moment. I thought she'd say it was a cost cutting thing, but she didn't... Apparently there are loads of nursing jobs going in hospitals in the South, but not enough nurses around to fill them. Is there a national shortage of nurses or something? It's a tough job to be fair.. cantthinkofone
  • Score: 0

6:18pm Mon 14 Jan 13

daveetwo says...

Its all very well critics saying there are 7000 less nurses but they never mention how many this represents per hospital.
There are about 1100 hospitals so only 7 less nurses per hospital which sounds a very small number.
Patients spend less and less time in hospital due to improved procedures so youd expect less staff.
I would of course prefer to see less managers swanning around than less nurses.
Its all very well critics saying there are 7000 less nurses but they never mention how many this represents per hospital. There are about 1100 hospitals so only 7 less nurses per hospital which sounds a very small number. Patients spend less and less time in hospital due to improved procedures so youd expect less staff. I would of course prefer to see less managers swanning around than less nurses. daveetwo
  • Score: 0

10:36pm Mon 14 Jan 13

sparkster says...

Exactly oerhaps if there were less managers and more nurses it would help. I did wonder if voluntary people could go to hospitals at mealtimes to help feed people who have difficulties in feeding theirselves, that way it would free the nurses up to be where they are most needed, just a thought
Exactly oerhaps if there were less managers and more nurses it would help. I did wonder if voluntary people could go to hospitals at mealtimes to help feed people who have difficulties in feeding theirselves, that way it would free the nurses up to be where they are most needed, just a thought sparkster
  • Score: 0

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