‘Radical changes’ to L&D nursing

A radical shake-up of staffing at the Luton & Dunstable Hospital will see nurses “back at the bedside”.
Ward sister Kelly Clifford will have more time to spend with patientsWard sister Kelly Clifford will have more time to spend with patients
Ward sister Kelly Clifford will have more time to spend with patients

The hospital is creating 105 new jobs to help cut out what it says are the ‘non-nursing’ parts of nurses’ jobs, such as making beds, managing menus, co-ordinating discharges, cleaning and answering telephones.

The announcement comes in a week when the Royal College of Nursing said nurses were “drowning in a sea of paperwork”.

Successful trials have already taken place of the new regime, thought to be the first of its kind in the country.

L&D spokesman Barry Mayes said that over the years nurses had “gradually had jobs piled on them”, meaning much of the time they weren’t at patients’ bedsides.

“What we are doing is far more efficient and the patient experience has improved.”

He said that nurse-to-patient ratios would gradually be revised, resulting in one nurse and one healthcare assistant for every 10 patients, except for on intensive care and high dependency wards.

While this would see nurse numbers reduce slightly there would actually be “more nursing time” available because of the new staff, he said.

Marion Collict, the hospital’s director of transformation, said that a different way of delivering care could be an answer to some of the problems facing the NHS.

“After looking at everything nurses did we came out with a list of core nursing activities,” she said. “Things like cleaning and bed making don’t need a registered nurse to do them. And the amount of bureaucracy involved for some nurses is unbelievable.

“All the evidence I’ve seen is that people want to care and to deliver good care. Nurses don’t just come to work for the money.”

>Information on the new vacancies can be found at www.ldh.nhs.uk