WORKFORCE: The University Hospitals of Leicester Trust is to spend approximately £2m recruiting extra nursing staff after a review identified a shortage across the trust.

An acuity review carried out at the East Midlands trust during September and March examined approximately 100 wards and 11,000 staff.

It found a significant gap in staffing compared to the needs of patients with particular shortages in musculo skeletal, cardio respiratory, cancer, and women’s and children’s services.

To fill the gaps the trust would need to spend £2.8m but only £2m of available funding has been identified which will be spent recruiting a total of 42 qualified nurses and 25 healthcare assistants. This would create a qualified to unqualified staff ratio of 65:30 the trust told Health Service Journal.

A report to the trust’s governance and risk management committee said: “The risk of not funding the £2.8 m has been risk assessed by the heads of nursing and although further investment will be required based on acuity, the staffing levels based on nurse to bed ratios are adequate to provide safe levels of care.”

The trust has said it will initially invest in staffing for those wards that identified a deficit of six or more whole time equivalent staff.

Carole Ribbins, director of nursing at the University Hospitals of Leicester said all new staff would be place before winter.

She added: “The acuity of patients and the dependency of patients has been increasing. We have had wards where the youngest patient has been 90-years-old.”

“I’m confident we have safe staffing levels to provide high quality patient care. We have done a very thorough review and we owe that to our staff and our patients.”

Another acuity review will be carried out in 2014.

Nottingham University Hospitals Trust recently announced it would spend more than £4m to open 80 new beds and employ 120 more staff while London’s Guy’s and St Thomas’ FT has identified a shortfall of 111 nurses.

The University Hospital of North Staffordshire is also recruiting an extra 100 nurses while the Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals Trust in the West Midlands is to spend almost £1m recruiting 18 band five staff nurses and six band two night staff following a workforce review.