PERFORMANCE: Buckinghamshire Healthcare Trust has been warned to improve its staffing levels and training for nurses following an unannounced inspection.

The trust has until the end of June to make the changes, which affect two national standards: skill mix and supporting staff to undertake training.

Inspectors found that nursing staff were under pressure to meet patients’ needs, with staff reporting that this was having an impact on the care provided.

Staff rotas showed that on a number of shifts the number of staff on duty in some wards was short of the trust’s planned staffing levels. On other shifts the skill mix was “inadequate”, the CQC found. Some shifts were filled

Nursing staff were not always supported to undertake training, the CQC found. Most training required by the trust was done through e-learning, which some staff were doing in their own time, and a number of staff were not up to date with.

The inspection took place in February and March this year, and the CQC’s report was published earlier today.

Ian Biggs, deputy director of CQC in the south, said: “On the wards we visited, our inspectors found that staff morale was poor, and staff told us that there were just not enough hours in the day.

“On a number of the wards we visited, we found that nurses were working up to two hours after their shift was supposed to have ended to catch up on paperwork and make sure people’s needs were met. This is not acceptable.”

The trust met three other standards checked at this inspection; care and welfare of people, safety and suitability of equipment, and co-operation with other providers.

Trust chief executive Anne Eden said: “I recognise that some improvements are still required around staffing and support; this is something that the board has already acknowledged and been working on for some time.”

“We are taking the feedback from inspectors very seriously and have instigated a number of additional actions to those already underway to ensure further improvements are quickly made. We are confident that we will be able to meet the 30 June deadline for compliance.”