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Hospital staff shortages 'disaster waiting to happen'

20 Feb 2020
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GMB, the union for NHS staff, says severe staff shortages at Brighton Sussex University Hospital are a ‘disaster waiting to happen.

The union met with trust management this week to raise concerns shortages and increasing workloads for housekeepers, host’s, cleaners and canteen staff could have potentially serious consequences.

GMB members are constantly forced to rush from understaffed area to area, with incorrect info displayed by patients’ beds, while management change practices and procedures to a degree that only the most experienced staff have a chance of getting the right meals, at the right times, to the right patients.

Bank agency workers are being relied upon to fill gaps that should be filled by permanent staff.

One Member of staff said:

“I love working for the NHS and could put up with being paid the lowest wages in the Trust in an high cost of living city if management and the trust at least showed me some respect and appreciation.

“But they don’t and it makes it increasingly hard for me to want to come to work now every day.”

Gary Palmer, GMB Regional Organiser said:

“We have told hospital management this is a disaster in waiting. In failing to react to GMB members concerns and they are disrespecting the needs of the patients and risking their wellbeing, for example if under pressure staff accidentally give the wrong meal or drink to someone with a food allergy, gluten intolerance or diabetes.

“It’s also about having time for patients and the daily interactions that can assist in making someone’s stay in hospital that little more pleasant - not having to run through wards ignoring patients whilst dishing out meals.

“Our members are feeling pretty undervalued right now and they are becoming angry at the lack of respect and appreciation shown by management towards them

“GMB has made it clear to management they must change now, listen and act upon the concerns of staff or face industrial consequences over the coming months.”

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