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North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust - 70 years of the NHS


Home > News > North Cumbria continues recruitment as nurses take up new roles

North Cumbria continues recruitment as nurses take up new roles

Posted on Monday 21st October 2013
clare barlow

Clare Barlow with a patient

North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust is continuing to expand its nursing workforce to ensure safe and effective nursing care at all times, for all patients.

Over the past few months the Trust has been carrying out an urgent nursing review which was one of the core recommendations from the Keogh Review in July and consultation with a small number of affected nursing staff is near completion.

New matron posts have been created across the Trust covering areas such as medicine and emergency care, elderly care and orthopaedics.  In addition, ward managers will also be in place across both the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle and the West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven to ensure effective nursing leadership at ward level.

The nursing review has been carried out not only to ensure that appropriate leadership, accountability and guidance is provided to the nursing team at ward level, but also to increase nursing numbers and staff to patient ratios.

In the past 12 months the Trust has recruited over 70 qualified nurses to join its existing teams, with a further 70 healthcare assistants also joining North Cumbria as part of a structured learning programmes.  Nursing recruitment is continuing at the Trust with work also underway to invest in specialist tissue viability and falls nurses.

Clare Barlow is one of the new matrons in post.  She said: “As nurses, we all care very passionately about looking after our patients and making sure they have the very best possible level of service and experience of care. 

“It is great news for our patients that we now have the new nursing structure in place and our nurses across the Trust have clear focus and leadership in their own individual ward areas.

“In my new dedicated role as matron, I am there to listen to feedback from both patients and staff across orthopaedics, ENT and ophthalmology and make sure we continue to learn, improve and deliver the very best quality of care.

“The new matrons feel confident that our new way of working with Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust will ensure that matrons are functioning as defined in the Matron’s Charter – ensuring quality and driving up standards of care.”

Mrs Chris Platton, acting director of nursing and quality said: “We have been working very hard to get the right nursing structure in place at North Cumbria and increase our nursing numbers to make sure that our patients experience the very best level of nursing care. 

“The recommendation from Keogh was very clear that we needed to carry out this review urgently and we’ve been working closely with all partners and with the full support of the NHS Trust Development Authority to ensure a swift process.

“With more qualified nurses joining our teams across the Trust and clear roles and accountability on each and every ward, it means our nurses can now focus solely on what they do best - delivering patient care. 

“We appreciate that this has been an unsettling time for some staff but our focus throughout has been on making sure we can provide the very best quality of safe and effective nursing care our patients at all times.”

North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust has also recently carried out its first staffing review in partnership with the NHS Trust Development Authority and is one of the first organisations in England to use a new acuity tool to help determine safe nurse staffing levels.  This process will be repeated every six months in North Cumbria to help inform ongoing improvements in patient care.