Rachael Maskell MP for York Central visited York Hospital for a tour of the Accident and Emergency department to listen to the voices of the most incredibly dedicated, professional and caring NHS staff who serve our city in the most challenging circumstances imaginable.
Every day patients are seen in bays and corridors as staff strive to keep patients safe and well cared for, but staff are pushed beyond their limits, as they do everything they can to help their patients. The biggest challenge is patient flows, as there is woeful social care capacity to meet demand. Staff in social care are paid far too little to stay, not least with the pressures they are having to work with.
Meeting with nurses, consultants and a physio doing all they can to keep patients safe, staff shared how the trauma, caused by unrelenting pressures, is causing them to break down in tears every day as they are bombarded with professional dilemmas and know that if there was better staffing and facilities, there would be so much more they could do to provide the excellent care they aspire to.
Hope is on the way as the new Emergency Department is to open in May this year, however, unless staff are recruited to meet patient need, then there will be no light at the end of the tunnel. The NHS currently has 133,500 vacancies, including 47,000 nursing vacancies.
Rachael Maskell MP and vice-chair of the Health and Social Care Select Committee, says:
“I am incredibly grateful for staff coming in on their day off to share their growing concerns for patients. The retention crisis in the NHS is preventing them from providing care in the way that they would want. One Sister described how staff are constantly conflicted and compromised, while another talked about how they could not give people the dignity a patient should have while being nursed in a corridor. 13 years of a Tory Government has systematically led us to this point.
“A senior consultant described how this had been the worst 6 months he has ever known as a specialist in the department and until there was a comprehensive workforce plan addressing training a new generation of staff, a retention strategy to keep staff and opportunity to provide recovery for traumatised staff, that the situation would get worse.
“Staff wanted to convey that they are there to treat the sickest residents in York, however for those that are able to consult other parts of the NHS, they should.
“I want to convey my sincere gratitude to staff. It was really clear that we are so lucky to have such dedicated staff at York Hospital who are completely dedicated to their patients and will do everything they can to keep us safe and well cared for.”