‘Fatal risk of nurse shortage must not be ignored’ warns Tom Blenkinsop MP

Tom Blenkinsop, Labour MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, is today (22nd January2013) urging the Government to think again about its decision to cut over 6000 nurses following news that patients are 10% more likely to die if wards have fewer medically trained staff.

Researchers from the University of Southampton and Imperial College London believe patients in overstretched hospitals are prone to developing fatal complications and infections because they are not properly monitored.

Commenting on the research Tom said:
“For several months now I have been highlighting my concerns over falling staffing levels at several hospitals in my constituency – namely East Cleveland Primary Care Hospital and Guisborough Hospital.

“Ministers are taking unacceptable risks with standards of patient care as the loss of experienced and adequately trained nurse picks up speed. The Government has cut the NHS budget two years running and in many hospitals there are simply not enough qualified nurses on the ground.

“At my recent meeting with the Health Minister, Dr Daniel Poulter, it was decided to give local hospitals 3-4 months to deal with the staffing shortages before the situation is reviewed again. This new research proves why it is so important to have appropriate staffing levels and backs up my own concerns over what could happen locally if services continue to be stretched. The Government should listen to the concerns of health professionals, academics and those on the frontline and ensure appropriately skilled staff is always available for those most in need.”

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