"Ward 15 How do the staff put up with excessive..."

About: North Tyneside General Hospital

The staff on ward 15 are excellent but level of work is far to excessive. They show manning figure saying they are 90+% of planned level which due to understaffing means dividing available staff between the three main shifts, it does not give the requiredthe manning levels today are 7, 12,14 but are actually 7, 5 and 4. These figures are the same for the who week. I have been an in patient for over a week and have seen how the ward nurses and other staff have to literary flog themselves to maintain the service and care for the patients The ward has a high level of patients with Dementia so require help at a much higher level than in some wards. In my ow.non area we have had 4 of the 6 beds with Dementia some night we can of eep due to the disturbances caused. This last week we had one person throwing a drip stand through a window,whilst others were upset one woman going up and down the corridor shouting. What chance did the 4 nursing staff to control the situation,but with the help of a few security men they did so we did get sleep even if it was delayed. A lot of those giving good reports are only in for one night so do not get the full story,

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Response from North Tyneside General Hospital

Dear John, I am so sorry that your stay on ward 15 has not provided you with the peaceful and restful experience that we would want for you. There are, understandably, a number of aspects of your review that concern me and that I believe warrant a more personal response. I have shared your experience with the matron for the ward and our executive director of nursing. Whilst they reassured me that the nursing levels for the ward should be 7, 5, and 4 - they acknowledge that sometimes short term sickness and last minute notification of this, mean that these numbers can vary slightly. Our policy is to ensure this shortfall is immediately escalated to senior management so that alternative cover can be found e.g. I am aware that two additional staff joined ward 15 to help out at this very busy and challenging time. I can appreciate why the drip stand situation must have been upsetting for all those involved. I am so sorry for any distress it may have caused you. The matron has informed me that prior to this shift an extra member of staff had been requested to specifically help and support the patient concerned. Unfortunately, this individual experienced frightening visual hallucinations which led to the incident in question. This happened very quickly with no warning, and as such was impossible for staff to either predict or prevent. I am not sure if you would find speaking to me about your experience more helpful? If you would, please contact me at Annie.laverty@northumbria-healthcare.nhs.uk With many thanks again John for bringing these concerns to our attention. Best Wishes, Annie

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