WORKFORCE: Western Sussex Hospitals is reviewing the skill mix among its nursing staff, after finding it has higher than average numbers of senior nurses compared to lower grades.

At its latest meeting, the board “noted that the trust had a higher than average number of band 6 and 7 staff”.

Board papers said: “Whilst such a skill mix should ensure that the trust delivered high quality care, it was necessary to balance this with the associated costs.

“It was noted that this was being reviewed, including through comparison with similar organisations.”

The HR report, presented by director of learning and organisational development Denise Farmer, also noted that the recruitment of staff continued to improve, with the “trust having been particularly successful when recruiting staff from the Republic of Ireland and from Scotland”.

However, the board also discussed low take-up of training, particularly on infection control.

The papers said: “It was thought that the recently lower levels of training take-up had been the result of staff not being released from service delivery as a result of the increased activity across the trust.”

They added: “Senior nurses and managers continued to focus attention on attendance of training sessions but it was suggested that additional rigour was required, including when following up non-attendance the training sessions.”