WORKFORCE: A fifth of community nursing shifts were short staffed in December at Rotherham Foundation Trust, board papers show.

Chief nurse Tracey McErlain-Burns highlighted the figures in papers for the Trust board’s 27 January meeting.

She said: “Twenty-one per cent of community nursing shifts across the 11 district nursing teams ran in deficit in the month, with an improved position the last ten days of December.”

More than a quarter of nurses on duty at night were from agencies, she added.

Sickness absence rates generally among Trust nurses have decreased, although the number of band five nurse vacancies has “marginally increased”.