WORKFORCE: Board members at Dartford and Gravesham Trust have been told by frontline nursing staff and patients that they need more staff, board papers reveal.

The papers include a report on quality assurance activity by board members, detailing a visit to wards by non-executive Brian Bowes and director of human resources Andy Brown.

The report noted that Mr Bowes and Mr Brown had visited Maple Ward on 25 June and had reported “in general, there were no areas of significant concern, but the sister had made a plea for increased staffing”.

They added that they had also spoken to patients and received “useful feedback”. Mr Bowes said the “main issue of concern presented to him however was staffing, and in particular, the impact of incidents, such as a patient fall, which resulted in a concentration of effort from staff, and adversely affected their ability to observe and care for other patients”.

The report noted that Maple was one of wards included in a skill mix review that was nearing completion.

Mr Bowes added that he had also visited Aspen Ward, and “encountered similar findings” to those from Maple.