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Nurse shortages proving serious

Posted in: Medical Negligence 

Recently released data has revealed that hospitals in Devon and Cornwall are facing their “worst shortage yet” of nurses. It was exposed following a Freedom of Information request that health trusts in Devon and Cornwall had around 800 nursing vacancies at the end of January.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) said that a lack of training places is to blame for the growing issue. Several hospital trusts, however, said that they are doing all they can to recruit – working closely with trainers, such as Universities, and even looking across Europe for staff.

Growing problem

Figures revealed that the total number of vacancies is almost 6% of the total 14,300 nursing posts available in the counties. Retired Devon GP, Dr James Vann, said that this has been a growing problem over the last couple of years: “There should have been some warning bells ringing two years ago when there should have been more nurses being trained”.

Other badly affected hospitals include: Derriford Hospital in Plymouth (short of 200 nurses), Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital (short of 80 nurses), and the Royal Cornwall Hospital (short of 100 nurses).

Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust said that they were trying to combat the problem by employing a cycle of “continuous recruitment”. It said it was working closely with universities to attract graduates and recruit nurses from abroad.

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