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Tuesday, 07 July 2015

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Trust which runs Furness General Hospital in Barrow to pay out £3m for new staff

HOSPITAL bosses are set to plough £3m into hiring new frontline staff despite concerns over a spiralling deficit.

URGENT NEED The trust which runs Furness General Hospital in Barrow has said it needs to spend £3m on frontline staff JON GRANGER

The NHS trust which runs Furness General Hospital in Barrow, Westmorland General Hospital in Kendal and Royal Lancaster Infirmary has agreed “in principle” to the funds to ensure guidelines on patient safety are met.

But University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust’s deficit up to July 31 stood at £8.47m – against a forecast deficit of £6m.

Aaron Cummins, deputy chief executive of the trust, said: “The trust recognises the risk to the current financial position but we are committed to the safety of our patients. We are taking all steps to ensure we meet and exceed the care standards our patients deserve.”

Many issues contributing to the overspend are historic, such as overspending on premium cost agency staff due to recruitment problems and high staff sickness levels.

The investment, requested by executive chief nurse Sue Smith, follows a series of national and internal reviews into staffing levels on hospital wards.

Mr Cummins said: “In the past year, there have been a number of national reports and recommendations relating to nursing and midwifery staffing and skill mix.

“We have also been carrying out our own work to make sure our nurse staffing is mapped not only to the number of patients we have, but also the complexity of each individual’s needs.”

Chief executive of the trust, Jackie Daniel, said: “This means we will be increasing recruitment efforts both home and abroad over the coming weeks and months.

“It is important we meet the latest staffing guidelines and best practice, and we will be directing the resource where it is most needed.

“This isn’t going to be easy though, we all know that recruitment to the frontline is difficult. We will do all that we can to attract the right talent.”

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