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Nurses let their feet do the talking 

Many trusts in the country are undoubtedly suffering when it comes to workforce shortages in their accident and emergency. However, when staff begin to leave over worries about the safety of a trust’s services this is perhaps something which should cause extra alarm.

Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust, a provider with widely reported A&E woes had seven nurses in total resign over July and June. The trust, which conducted exit interviews with these nurses, confirmed that at least one raised concern about the safety of its emergency department upon their departure.

It’s not just nurse shortages which the trust is concerned about, according to the trust board papers it is also suffering from severe shortages in substantive middle grade and consultant staff.

It seems the trust is not the only one worried about these shortages, as concerns have also reached the regulator. In June, regional NHS Improvement directors made a plea to neighbouring trusts to offer support to SATH. However, none could answer this call owing to their own workforce woes.

Conflicts of interest

Only 5 per cent of NHS hospital trusts published a register of interests for their senior staff despite it being a contractual obligation.

NHS England published new guidance in 2017 on clinical commissioning groups, NHS trusts and NHS foundation trusts about managing potential conflicts of interest.

Organisations should publish a register of interests for their key managers at least once a year. But a survey by NHS England, the topline findings of which were published on an NHS Improvement bulletin last week, found only 5 per cent of acute trusts complied with the contractual duty.

Community and mental health trusts performed better with one in five, or 20 per cent, of organisations publishing a register.

NHS England launched a consultation on its plans in 2016 aiming to crackdown on executives earning money from consultancy and advisory positions and honorariums by demanding they be declared.