Stoke & Staffordshire

Inspectors called to Stafford hospital amid staffing fears

Stafford Hospital Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Mid Staffordshire Trust, which runs Stafford Hospital, has been in administration since April 2013

NHS inspectors have been called in by the trust that runs Stafford Hospital over concerns low staffing levels are affecting patient safety.

Administrators at the Mid Staffordshire Trust have asked the Care Quality Commission to carry out inspections.

They said the trust was struggling to recruit and retain nursing staff.

The trust is due to be dissolved in November with some services being moved to neighbouring hospitals in Stoke-on-Trent and Wolverhampton.

Stafford Hospital will become part of the University Hospital of North Staffordshire (UHNS) while Cannock Hospital will become part of the Royal Wolverhampton Trust.

Paediatrics and critical care are among the services that are being relocated.

Last month, the Mid Staffordshire Trust reported it had 85 vacancies for nurses, which is about 11% of its workforce.

It said it was having to borrow 22 members of staff from the UHNS.

Image caption The Mid Staffordshire Trust said it had 85 vacancies for nurses

Administrators said they were concerned about the effect that was having on patient safety at Stafford and Cannock hospitals.

They said they wanted to the CQC to "conduct a focused inspection of the trust."

In a statement, they said: "Together with our partners, we will consider carefully the CQC's report, findings and advice and will act accordingly in the interests of patient safety."

No date has been confirmed for the inspection but Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards, said it would be an "urgent review".

"We are currently planning the inspection and recruiting appropriate specialist advisors," he said.

The trust has been in administration since April 2013 when services were deemed financially and clinically "unsustainable" by watchdog Monitor.

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