WORKFORCE: Weston Area Health Trust’s board has agreed to fund an additional 62.6 full time equivalent nurses and healthcare assistants to improve patient safety and patient experience.

A paper to April’s board said recruitment should be complete by September at which time all ward sisters will become supervisory. The total cost of the additional staff will be £1.7m. It is hoped much of it will be met by a reduction in the £2.4m spend on bank and agency staff during 2012-13.

The changes mean the maximum number of patients a nurse will be responsible for should be 4.6. In some areas skill mix will fall to just 47 per cent registered nurses. However, the paper says in practice the skill mix will be higher due to the presence of supervisory sisters.