WORKFORCE: Vacancies and sickness meant that only about half of planned support worker hours were filled in the delivery room at Harrogate and District Hospitals Foundation Trust in December.

Figures presented at a Council of Governors meeting on February 4 show that the average fill rate of care staff was 40 per cent during the day and 59 per cent at night. The delivery suite did have a full complement of midwives and nurses during the month, however. The special care baby unit was slightly short staffed at a 98 per cent fill rate of nurses/midwives during both daytime and night time, and daytime levels for support workers was only 83 per cent.

Chief nurse Jill Foster said: “For the special care baby unit although the nurse and care staff hours were less than planned it is important to note that the bed occupancy levels fluctuate in this area and a professional assessment was undertaken on a shift by shift basis to ensure that the planned staffing matched the needs of both babies and families.”