MORE nurses are being taken on by North Tyneside General Hospital to help it cope with an increase in patients.
Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust is spending an extra £3m on increasing staffing levels on wards and departments, with the North Shields hospital being one of the beneficiaries.
Last year saw an unprecedented rise in the number of patients treated by the trust’s emergency care departments as some of the worst winter weather for more than 30 years hit the borough.
Rosemary Stephenson, director of nursing at the trust, said: “Our nurses are among the best in the country, and these extra nurses will help ease the pressure on existing staff during this busy time of year.”
Now, to ensure patients are treated quickly, improvements have been made to emergency care and nurses at all levels have been recruited.
Two senior nurse practitioners are now working alongside doctors throughout the night.
On top of that, two new emergency care consultants are joining the team.
The Rake Lane hospital’s rapid access and treatment unit has been improved and now has seven beds and comfortable chairs in a modern environment where patients can be observed and wait for test results.
Some six-bedded bays have been reconfigured, and now have four beds in each bay allowing more room for patients and nursing staff.
New toilets have been installed, giving patients more privacy, and wards have been refurbished.
Most of the patients seen at North Tyneside General are elderly, so a new post has been created for a matron for elderly care services to take charge of the nursing teams dedicated to looking after older patients.
A new group of student nurses also joined the trust in October, with the next intake being in March next year.