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Extra nurses tackle staffing crisis at failing emergency department

The number of nurses on shift is being increased at North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust emergency services in an effort to tackle critical staffing shortages. 

Managers are boosting the number of nurses on shift to assist a north London emergency department, currently threatened with action from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) if it does not hit targets.

A lack of senior specialist doctors is blamed for the delays and problems experienced at North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust, which received a warning from the CQC in June. The regulator said that care must improve by 26 August, or further action may be taken.

This action could include preventing the hospital from providing emergency services or prosecuting the administration of the trust, the CQC confirmed.

Withdrawal threat

Concern over the department was also raised by the General Medical Council and Health Education England which are threatening to withdraw their support for the 26 junior doctor posts in the department if improvements are not made. This would leave the posts unfilled.

To avoid this, steps are being taken to recruit more doctors to the hospital, as well as increasing the number of nurses on each shift.

The trust's director of nursing Paul Reeves said: ‘Nursing in our emergency department is regarded as very strong. We have increased the number of qualified nurses on each shift to assist with the current shortage of middle grade doctors and consultants. We also recognise the importance of providing additional support to our emergency services' nurses.’

The trust said a new clinical director has been appointed and a programme called Safer, Faster, Better, has been introduced to speed up the flow of patients through the emergency department. 

Further information:

North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust CQC report

Full statement from North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust

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