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Home > News > Whitehaven clinical staff "full of passion, positivity, and commitment to delivering high quality care"

Whitehaven clinical staff "full of passion, positivity, and commitment to delivering high quality care"

Posted on Monday 8th February 2016
Children's ward staff

Sarah Dodsworth and Gail Naylor undertook a joint tour of paediatric services, the medical ward, surgery, the emergency admissions unit, and the A&E department at West Cumberland Hospital.

Issued by the Royal College of Nursing https://www.rcn.org.uk/news-and-events/news/whitehaven-staff-full-of-passion-and-commitment

Following a joint visit by Gail Naylor, Director of Nursing and Midwifery at North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust and Sarah Dodsworth, Director of Nursing, RCN Northern region, the RCN can today report that, despite the challenges facing the trust, the front line remains committed to delivering excellence at West Cumberland Hospital, Whitehaven.

On 4 February 2016, Sarah Dodsworth and Gail Naylor undertook a joint tour of paediatric services, the medical ward, surgery, the emergency admissions unit, and the A&E department at West Cumberland Hospital.

Speaking after the visit, Sarah said: “We’ve all heard about the financial and structural challenges facing the trust, but both Gail and I wanted to see and hear first hand from staff who were actually working on shifts about the details. And I have to say, I was truly inspired. For example, it was immediately clear to me that paediatrics at Whitehaven had a fully staffed complement, and staff were passionate, hard-working and committed to delivering excellence. This is a good news story that does not get told. Similarly, when I visited the medical ward, surgery ward, and emergency admissions unit, it was clear that staff felt very positive about the care that they are able to deliver.

"Yes, it’s hard work, yes, we need more staff but the sense of optimism at Whitehaven was refreshing to see. It was also clear that staff here have the confidence to speak up, and to tell their director of nursing when there is a particular problem. They also seem to have confidence that their concerns will get a fair hearing. One nurse told me: “We know it’s tough and that some units are understaffed. But we also know that management are trying hard to fill these positions, so that we can continue to deliver safe care in Whitehaven.”

Sarah added: “Although both the RCN and Gail regularly undertake ward-by-ward listening visits across the trust, I felt it would be useful for us both to undertake a joint walkabout, so that management and the trade union could meet staff firsthand. While I appreciate that the position can vary from ward to ward, and shift to shift, when I visited, I was struck by how compassionate, enthusiastic, and hardworking our nursing team is, here in Whitehaven. The local community can be reassured that, despite some bad news over the past few years, we retain a fantastic clinical workforce in Whitehaven, a nursing workforce who we should be proud of.”

The RCN also today welcomed the announcement of North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust will now be working with Newcastle Upon Tyne NHS Foundation Trust and the Great North Children’s Hospital to deliver better access to the best care to the people of Cumbria. An RCN spokesman said: “Partnership working with an internationally renowned hospital trust like Newcastle Hospitals should deliver further benefits to the people of Cumbria. Newcastle Hospitals and the Great North Children’s Hospital has a deservedly great reputation for caring for our sickest children, so this strategic partnership will have huge potential benefits for young patients and their families alike.”