Less than 25% of Suffolk nurses think hospitals have enough staff

Fewer than a quarter of nurses at Ipswich, Colchester and West Suffolk hospitals feel there are enough staff

Fewer than a quarter of nurses at Ipswich, Colchester and West Suffolk hospitals feel there are enough staff for them to do their jobs properly. - Credit: PA

Fewer than a quarter of Suffolk nurses feel the county's hospitals have enough staff for them to do their jobs properly, a recent survey found.

When asked whether they agreed with the statement "there are enough staff at this organisation for me to do my job properly" only 16.6% of nurses and midwives at Ipswich and Colchester hospitals said yes. While 20.5% of nursing staff at West Suffolk hospital did.

NHS stats show that at the end of 2021 there were 3,792 vacancies for registered nurses in the East of England.

This is roughly the same as the total number of nurses and midwives employed by East Suffolk and North Essex Foundation Trust, which runs Ipswich and Colchester Hospitals.

Teresa Burdrey, Royal College of Nursing eastern regional director, said: "It is very worrying when nurses say there are too few staff for them to do their job properly. The government needs to heed these results and take urgent action to recruit and retain nursing staff across our region.

Teresa Budrey, eastern regional director of the Royal College of Nursing. Picture: RCN

Teresa Budrey, eastern regional director of the Royal College of Nursing. - Credit: RCN

“When there are not enough staff it can mean patients don’t receive the care they need or their safety is compromised. It can also lead to delays in patients receiving treatment, which is already a concern due to backlogs caused by the Covid crisis.

“The government must commit to delivering and funding a workforce plan for the long-term that guarantees there are enough nursing staff in the health and care system to provide patients with consistently safe and effective care.

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“The RCN is campaigning for legislation to guarantee nurse staffing levels in England across all sectors and settings.”

Bosses at West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust say the number of nurses at their trust has risen by 19.3% since last year.

Jeremy Over, executive director of workforce and communications, said the Trust was committed to ensuring there are enough nursing staff to "match the needs of patients we are caring for."

Jeremy Over, executive director of workforce and communications at West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust

Jeremy Over, executive director of workforce and communications at West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust - Credit: WEST SUFFOLK NHS FOUNDATION TRUST

“We are working very hard to address staff shortages and continue to recruit nursing and midwifery staff to the organisation, both from the UK and abroad.

"We have a strong overseas nursing relationship which means around eight nurses come into our Trust from abroad every month. 

"We are also focusing on wellbeing support and career development for existing staff to stay at West Suffolk and build their expertise and skills.”