Southend Hospital Nurses Quitting the A&E Due to Toxic Working Conditions
The whistleblower, while issuing the warning of nurses leaving the A&E department to other departments or even quitting the NHS, also claimed that staff felt "completely broken" and "helpless and unsupported".
She said that recently, about 15 nurses left to work in different departments or even quit the NHS.
The hospital's management on the other hand said it was addressing staff recruitment with clear plans in place.
The Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust - which runs Basildon, Southend and Broomfield hospitals – was rated as "requires improvement" after the Care Quality Commission (CQC) turned up for an unannounced inspection last year after concerns about standards were raised.
According to the whistleblower who pleaded anonymity, colleagues felt "completely broken" by their working environment adding that "every single shift" was short-staffed by up to as many as five to eight nurses.
"My colleagues are suffering and are walking away from the profession as it is toxic here. I am sure patients' long-term health is already suffering too. If somebody is critically ill, the longer you leave it to start their treatment, the less chance of recovery. It is awful. It is worse than I have ever known it. We have got so many people leaving. Conditions are terrible. The workload is unmanageable. The culture is appalling and staff do not feel supported." She said
A different senior nurse told the Local Democracy Reporting Service she had quit. She said she felt so guilt that she couldn’t do her job anymore as she wanted to for the patients and had to resign.
Tony Durcan, of the Royal College of Nursing, said: "Staffing shortages pile extra pressure on the nursing staff who remain. The NHS Staff Survey for 2021 found that only 15.5% of registered nurses and midwives at Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust believed there were enough staff for them to do their job properly, down from 31% the previous year."
The Save Southend Hospital campaign group has also claimed doctors' training sessions were "usually cancelled" due to staff shortages.
Anna Firth MP said she counted 15 ambulances waiting outside Southend University Hospital because there was no room for them inside the A&E.
Just weeks ago, a footage was released showing a nurse at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow telling patients it would be up to 13 hours before they saw a doctor.
The number of staff leaving Southend hospital is disturbing and when there are no replacements, pressure is mounted on the system and the remaining staff can only take so much before they too burn out.
In May, Southend West's Conservative MP Anna Firth called the situation "totally unacceptable." The solution here would be to find ways to attract and retain good staff and that is when there's a national shortage.
A spokesman for Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust said: "Staffing levels in A&E are reviewed regularly throughout the day to ensure that patients are receiving the best possible care. There have been many improvements made throughout the department since the CQC visit last year. Whilst there are still some challenges, such as staff recruitment, these are being addressed with clear plans in place."
Compensation For Hospital Negligence
Several issues lead to negligent treatment by healthcare providers including enormous pressure as a result of understaffing.
However, this should not be the reason why an individual has to suffer unnecessarily from the effects of negligence treatment. Therefore, if you or your loved one has suffered from medical negligence in the NHS, you are entitled to make hospital negligence claims.
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