"Understaffed - Shocking"

About: Sunderland Royal Hospital

Having my grandfather currently in Ward E52 I must say that the level of care is shocking. Now this is not down to the staff as they are all very helpful when they are able. The real issue is that there are so few staff that they spend all their time fighting to regain control. I am, and the rest of my family are very unhappy with this. My wife is a nurse and was extremely shocked about what she saw. There are frequent instances where a buzzer is pressed indicating a need for a patient and no-one appears for 15-20 minutes. Patients who can't look after themselves are not getting the care they need purely because there are too few staff to do it. I've seen people unable to feed themselves go without food until relatives come in and sit with the patients. This is disgraceful. You really need to look at priorities for staffing and recruit more nurses so that they are able to do their jobs properly and give patients the care and attention they deserve. I feel sorry for the staff as they take the brunt of this without being the ones making the decisions. If I was the one making the decisions for my grandfather's care I'd be moving him to a better staffed hospital instead of one that clearly uses patients to line the pockets of the people in charge at the expense of the patients and the nurses. Some hospitals are doing this with their current budgets, why can't this one!

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Response from Sunderland Royal Hospital

Thank you for the positive comments about the helpful attitude of staff. We are really sorry to hear that your feel the level of care and staffing levels on the ward was not at the level we would expect. Staffing levels throughout the Trust are reviewed every six months. As a result we have invested an additional £2million pounds to increase nurse staffing levels across a number of wards (including E52). Unfortunately there is a national shortage of registered nurses and despite successful national and international recruitment, and like many other Trusts, we have been unable to fill all vacancies. We have however recruited additional healthcare assistants to assist the registered nurses on the wards. We have reminded our staff that if they feel patient care is delayed or compromised as a result of staffing levels then they should report this immediately and inform the Matron on duty who can provide support.

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