Staffing issues at Bradford Royal Infirmary highlighted by a watchdog did not come as a surprise to bosses at the Trust running it, who had been working on improving the situation before inspectors visited last year.
Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s board of directors met yesterday when they discussed what was being done to address the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) report and a Warning Notice to improve staffing by March 7.
Chief executive Bryan Millar said: “We’ve an action plan in place which I’m fully confident will make us compliant with that.”
But directors also said that it was important to get the right staff and not just fill vacancies to get numbers up.
Non-executive director Professor James Walker said: “If you depend on people to provide a service and they’re not providing it, then that’s dangerous. It’s important to actually employ the right people. We’re looking at this and will continue to look at this.”
CQC inspectors looked at six essential standards when they visited BRI in September and October and found action was needed in four of them, including staffing which they classed as a major concern.
Following the CQC’s report, regulator Monitor announced it was investigating the Trust and has since met directors.
Yesterday, chief nurse Juliette Greenwood presented an update on some of the work being done around an action plan drawn-up since the CQC report.
A recruitment group has been established in response to enforcement action linked to those roles and interviews have been carried out over the last three months. An open day will also be held next month to showcase the opportunities of working at the Trust.
In A&E changes have been to rotas and consultants for that department are being interviewed next month.
Medical director Professor Clive Kay said that would lead towards a situation where consultants would be “on the shop floor” from 8am until midnight seven days a week.
“That’s a significant improvement and something not many places can claim to have in place,” he said.
A new system is also being introduced across all wards at the Trust to make staffing levels more visible.
Mr Richardson said: “Patients can expect when they come on to our wards to see clearly a chart which shows how many doctors and nurses should be there and how many actually are there.”
Miss Greenwood said directors and staff should also remember that inspectors had highlighted many positives in their inspection report, which was made public earlier this month.
l Bradford Council’s Health and Social Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee meets next Wednesday when the CQC report and the Trust’s response will be discussed.
Before the inspection, Healthwatch Bradford and District spoke to patients at BRI’s A&E department about their experience and a report on its findings will also be discussed.
They will hear about work the Trust has been doing since the inspection around not just staffing, but other areas of concern the CQC reported. The meeting is at 4.30pm at City Hall, Bradford.