WORKFORCE: County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust is investing £800,000 to enable ward sisters and community nurse team leaders to spend more time managing, leading and supervising staff and patient care, it has announced.

A statement from the FT said the money would be spent on recruitment and training. It will create up to 40 new frontline nursing jobs, the statement says.

Diane Murphy, Acting Director of Nursing at County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, said in a statement: “We have always provided high quality care to our patients across County Durham and Darlington, but there’s always room for improvement.

“Over the last decade, nursing has changed dramatically. We’re seeing greater numbers of patients who require more complex care. To meet the increased demand, our ward sisters and community nurse team leaders have been spending up to 80% of their time delivering that care and just 20% directing it. We need to turn those figures around.

“Investing in ward sisters and community nurse team leaders will enable them to concentrate on improving the high quality care we provide to our patients. They will achieve this by having more time to manage their staff and patients.”

Glenn Turp, Regional Director for RCN Northern Region, said: “The role of the supervisory ward sister is crucial, because it means that all patients will know exactly who is ultimately responsible for the overall continuity of their care throughout their treatment. The ward sisters will have clear managerial and supervisory responsibilities for both the clinical teams and the patients they serve. This clear accountability will be welcomed by both patients and the clinical teams, because it will deliver better leadership, better care, and also means that when patients or staff have an issue, there is a clear “go-to” person to get it resolved.

“County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust are to be congratulated for setting the benchmark high and the RCN hopes that other Trusts will now follow their lead.”