Tagged: Newcastle Hospital’s NHS Foundation Trust

‘Massive spike’ in long A&E waits highlights crisis facing North-East NHS

A nursing union has highlighted the “crisis” facing the North-East NHS by publishing details of what it calls a “massive spike” in long accident and emergency waits in the last four years.

The figures from the Royal College of Nursing contrast the small numbers of long A&E waits in the week ending May 8 in 2011 with the same week this year.

They show that at six out of eight North-East accident and emergency units the number of patients who had to wait between four and 12 hours from the decision to admit to actual admissions had rocketed between 2011 and 2015.

In 2011 only 15 patients had to wait between four and 12 hours until they were admitted – but by 2015 this figure had risen to 141.

The largest rise was seen at the Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, where the number facing long waits for admission to A&E rose from eight in 2011 to 47 this year.

The second highest figure was recorded at the County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust where the number facing long waits to be admitted rose from zero to 37.

At the South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust the number facing long waits jumped from six in 2011 to 14 in the corresponding week this year.

 Glenn Turp, regional director of the Royal College of Nursing, said:
“This is nothing short of a crisis in A&E. If anybody tries to tell you that the NHS is not feeling the strain, then frankly they are living in cloud cuckoo land.”

Mr Turp added: “What this basically tells you is that, without significant extra funding from central government, our beloved NHS simply will not be able to cope in the future.”

A spokesman for County Durham and Darlington NHS Trust said:

“Pressure on A&E departments has increased significantly since 2011 as reflected in these figures.

“We have taken a number of steps to improve the patient’s experience in our A&E departments, and to reduce waiting times.

“There is more to be done, which is why we have announced plans to extend the A&E departments at Darlington Memorial and University Hospital of North Durham.”

Source –  Northern Echo, 12 May 2015

Union says fining ambulance crews is ‘draconian’

A hospital trust’s decision to fine patient transport ambulances £70 if they spend longer than 20 minutes unloading patients has been criticised by a health union.

It followed the decision by bosses at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle to extend parking restrictions around its main entrance to include patient transport vehicles operated by the North East Ambulance Service.

The NEAS declined to comment about the move by hospital bosses, but Joel Byers, NEAS branch secretary for Unison, said the decision to extend £70 fines to NHS ambulances unloading patients was “a bit draconian.”

Mr Byers said:

You can’t just drop patients off in reception you have to take them to where they are going and that could be a ward at the furthest point from the entrance. Allowing 20 minutes to do this is not appropriate.”

The Unison official and staff side secretary added:

“If patients were able to walk or get in on their own it wouldn’t be an issue, but many need to be helped to get to where they are going.”

Mr Byers said it looked as if the Newcastle Hospitals Trust was seeking to fine people for doing their job.

“It’s a stressful enough job to start with without being pressured and worried about going over the 20 minutes. Aren’t we all supposed to be in the same Health Service?”

 A spokeswoman for the Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said:
In the vicinity of the Freeman Hospital main entrance there is a 20 minute wait restriction, but which does not apply to emergency vehicles – ambulance, fire, police, Armed Forces etc.

“Other vehicles including general public, staff, commercial suppliers and non-urgent passenger carrying, including taxis and ‘personnel carriers’ which may involve patient transport, are expected to respect the need for continuous traffic flow in this area, albeit some tend to park up when there are nearby designated patient transport holding bays that can be utilised as and when the need arises.

“North East Ambulance Service staff who utilise ‘personnel carriers’ and other ‘non-urgent’ forms of vehicles are not excluded from the restriction which is to achieve continuous traffic flow and safety as the overriding consideration. Simply to park up in restricted areas is unacceptable hence the risk of a parking charge notice.”

Source –  Northern Echo,  09 Nov 2014

North East NHS managers get pay rises as nurses’ salaries cut in real terms

Health chiefs have received pay rises of up to 17% while nurses and health care assistants experience real term cuts topping 12%, a union has revealed.

Analysis of senior executive NHS pay by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has shown that bosses at hospital trusts in the region were awarded salary increases averaging 10.5% between 2010 and 2013, while mid-band nurses managed a paltry 0.1%. Taking into account inflation some suffered a real terms cut of 12%.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt previously warned that health service employees would face a pay freeze until March 2016 and that they might not get the 1% promised for 2014 unless unions accept greater pay restraint.

Glenn Turp, regional director for the RCN northern region, said: “Frontline nurses and health care assistants have already borne the brunt of the Government’s pay restraint policy over many years. And we know that, once inflation is factored in, NHS salaries have in fact been cut between 8% and 12% in real terms, between the period 2010 and 2014.

“The Chancellor promised to deliver a 1% pay rise this year for the front line, but the Secretary of State for Health is now trying to introduce a further pay freeze until March 2016.

“This is completely unacceptable. It is particularly galling that the Government is quite happy for NHS managers to get significant pay rises, while at the same time, the front line takes another hit.

“A 1% pay increase is a perfectly reasonable and proportionate request, particularly when put in the context of the rises in senior managers’ pay. The Government needs to stop having one rule for the frontline nursing staff, and another for senior bosses.”

The RCN northern region compared the salaries of chief executives across all North East trusts for the financial year 2010-11, with the most recent financial year data available, 2012-13.

Ian Renwick, chief executive of Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust, received the largest pay rise of 17% as his wages jumped from £190,000 to just under £223,000.

Jim Mackey from Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust saw his salary rise 9%, from £211,000 to £230,000.

Newcastle Hospital’s NHS Foundation Trust’s chief executive, Sir Leonard Fenwick, is paid the most at £246,000, although the trust has insisted he has had no pay rise in three years, despite the RCN suggesting he had received a 6% increase.

A spokesperson for Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust said: “The salaries of our chief executive and of all our executive directors are decided by an independent nominations and remuneration committee and this is to ensure they are in line with publicly available salary benchmarking information.

“As one of the country’s top performing NHS Foundation Trusts, it is important that those with ultimate accountability are remunerated appropriately so that we can retain the very best healthcare leaders in the North East NHS.”

Figures show that a mid-band 5 nurse salary in the North East increased from £23,563 in 2010/11 to just £23,589 in 2012/13, a rise of just 0.1%. In 2011-12 a pay freeze was implemented by the Government to NHS staff earning more than £21,000.

A spokesperson from Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust said: “The remuneration of our leadership team is decided independently to make sure that salaries are in line with those of other high performing NHS organisations.

“To be clear, however, along with the rest of our staff, no director at Northumbria Healthcare has had an increase in pay since the pay freeze was implemented in 2011/12.”

Last night, the Department of Health defended its decision to limit pay rises for NHS frontline staff.

A spokesperson said: “The NHS is rightly playing its role in public sector pay restraint.

“Average pay has increased by around 1%. Despite this, many NHS staff continue to be well paid for the lifesaving work they do and the majority of staff have received additional incremental pay increases of up to 6%.

“The number of admin staff, managers and senior managers in the NHS has fallen by over 21,000. This will lead to a significant reduction in managers’ costs.”

Source – Newcastle Journal  03 Feb 2014