Nurse begs hospital bosses to ‘see for themselves how unsafe it is’

Hospital bosses say they are taking the letter seriously and are investigating. 

Sarah Jane
22 January 2020
Busy A&E waiting room

The nurse fears somebody will die unnecessarily unless something is urgently done.

An advanced nurse practitioner working in Primary Care services at Grimsby Hospital has called on the hospital senior leadership to ‘see for themselves how unsafe it is’.

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The nurse, who has penned a letter to bosses at Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust says they are having “worst experience to date” in their career and fears somebody will die unnecessarily unless something is urgently done.

Hospital bosses say they are taking the letter seriously and are investigating.

Earlier this month it was revealed that some hospitals were being forced to deploy ‘corridor nurses’ in a bid to maintain patient safety while dealing with unprecedented demand.

The Letter.

“I am an ANP within Primary Care. Drafted into the UTC (Urgent Treatment Centre), seeing patients within your department. I worked in A&E myself for over 10 years before leaving to go into primary care. Primary care cannot assist any further in managing that department.

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“Your issues are your flow through majors, majors and critically ill resus patients, primary care cannot manage these.

“I have never in my whole career seen patients hanging off trolleys, vomiting down corridors, having ECGs down corridors, patients desperate for the toilet, desperate for a drink. Basic human care is not being given safely or adequately.

“Your hospital is full – your A&E department is overflowing. But no further staff have been provided in A&E. You are concentrating on urgent treatment care and minors – this really is not the issue and if you continue to focus in this area someone will die.

“You are expecting staff to manage treble the number of patients in majors and resus that they would do normally, without breaks, this is not safe. They cannot provide that care – which is evident. The staff are trying their hardest and working to actual breaking point.

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“They are escalating to site managers -silver/gold command with a response of – we are monitoring it. What do you expect a Sister in charge of A&E to do then? Patients hanging off trolleys, desperate for even a drink!

“Patients in your department were offered a single sandwich twice in 15 hours. The staff are desperately trying to find even a spoon so a patient can have a yogurt. Nutrition is paramount in the sick patient – why has the hospital not actioned someone to just go into that department two or three times a day to provide hot meals, adequate nutrition to your patients.

“Please – you cannot expect A&E nurses already working to treble capacity to now start doing this also. Why cannot a domestic or someone be drafted in to do this? It doesn’t even need to be a trained member of staff.

“Why is the hospital not actioning or doing anything to provide basic care to these patients? You are relying on relatives to actually monitor your patients – this is a complete reminder of the Mid Staffs hospital all over again.

“I’ve come home from a shift in tears – watching your staff try so hard to just provide care – however your management and escalation policies are failing you.

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“I beg you to go into that department at a weekend – when staff are saying its unsafe – for you to see yourselves, exactly how unsafe it is, to hear the responses from your management team to the A&E team, and what you are putting your staff and patients through.

“This was the worst experience to date in my career. Please – I beg you now to re-look at your A&E department.”

We are jointly investigating.

Dr Peter Reading, Chief Executive, said: “I can confirm we have received this email and that the hospital and North East Lincolnshire CCG are taking these concerns seriously. The person who raised the concerns with us has been contacted and informed that we are jointly investigating what they have told us.

“Our hospitals have been, and continue to be, exceptionally busy. We are seeing lots of patients who are very sick and our staff are doing everything they can to treat them as quickly as possible, while prioritising those most in need.

“We’re also working hard to make sure those patients who can eat and drink – as not all can because they may need surgery – have access to food and fluids, whether that is from vending machines or provided by our catering staff.

“The department is fully staffed and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everybody, particularly those working in the emergency department, who continue to go above and beyond on every shift they work. Their commitment and dedication to providing a service is superb and I want to recognise that and let them know how much they are appreciated.”

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