Your web browser is outdated and may be insecure

The RCN recommends using an updated browser such as Microsoft Edge or Google Chrome

Too few staff is an unfair burden on nurses and damages care

20 May 2021

Commenting on the report of the Care Quality Commission’s recent inspection of medical services at Walsall Manor Hospital, which downgraded the rating of the services from ‘Requires Improvement’ to ‘Inadequate’, Lindsay Meeks, Regional Director of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) in the West Midlands, said:

“The CQC’s report is clear that staffing shortages compromised the quality and safety of patient care. That’s unacceptable and will, I’m sure, be distressing and exasperating for nursing staff to hear.

“Nursing staff on medical wards have a tough enough job without having to contend with persistent staff shortages in order to keep patients safe and well cared-for.

“It’s a testimony to the hard work and professionalism of the staff at Walsall that the CQC recognised the kind and compassionate care they provide, but they should not be faced with the additional pressure of too few staff being on duty. It’s not fair on them and it puts patient care at risk.”

Warning notice

Following its inspection, the CQC issued a warning notice to Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust giving it three months to improve nurse staffing levels, patient discharge arrangements and governance.

Earlier this month the RCN launched its Nursing Workforce Standards, the first national blueprint for tackling nurse staffing shortages.

The standards are designed to be applied alongside legal requirements to plan and maintain safe and effective nurse staffing levels in all health care settings.

Ms Meeks added: “There are more than 7,500 vacancies for registered nurses in the NHS across the Midlands.

“Hospitals and other health care providers have a huge challenge to find enough nurses to fill the gaps, so the Government must address this workforce crisis, starting with a decent pay rise to help attract and retain nurses in the profession."

Page last updated - 20/10/2021