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Home » Latest News » Law firm calls for action over staffing levels to protect patients

Law firm calls for action over staffing levels to protect patients

Law firm calls for action over staffing levels to protect patients

A leading law firm who promote the development of better patient safety and justice for people affected by medical accidents today calls on health bosses to act urgently to improve staffing levels and safeguard services.

Experts at Bridge McFarland say proposals to transfer key services between Scunthorpe General Hospital and the Diana, Princess of Wales Hospital in Grimsby may result in patients waiting longer for appointments with the consequent risk to treatment plans.

Chris Green, a Senior Solicitor and experienced medical negligence lawyer, said Bridge McFarland is working in conjunction with local and national advocacy groups to support the local NHS, GPs and other health professionals in making the case for better healthcare.

Samantha Jones, a former nurse who is now a Legal Assistant in Bridge McFarland’s medical negligence department, said that the Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust (NLaG), must act to recruit more staff and prevent “the downgrading of Grimsby hospital by stealth”.

NLaG has outlined plans to “reconfigure” some of its services, with urology treatment to be based at Scunthorpe and ear, nose and throat (ENT) only available at Grimsby. Both hospitals would continue to offer out-patient services, but Samantha said patients will have to travel further if they need surgery or other specialist treatment.

She said: “Basically the services will be halved. If there are plans to enhance it in any way, the Trust isn’t telling anyone. They have already admitted there is a shortage of staff so I don’t think there is going to be an improvement in the quality of care.

“One of the main issues that patients will face is transport. There will be increased demand for patient transport and that will make it more difficult for people to access services. Patients are likely to face longer waiting times and it may take longer for them to receive a diagnosis.

“There will also be a lack of continuity of treatment for someone who is an out-patient at one site and then has to visit another for surgery. They will have different staff.”

Samantha added that the infrastructure as a whole is there but the problem is that the Trust doesn’t have enough staff. What measures are being taken to secure more staff? Is there any concerted recruitment drive?

“I am genuinely concerned for our town, the public and those employed within the NHS and that we may be seeing the slow downgrading of Grimsby Hospital”.

Bridge McFarland has represented a number of clients with claims arising from conditions which have become more serious because of a mismanagement of their condition.

Chris said: “We are keen to support local health professional and lobby groups by making a case for better healthcare. Part of what we do is about encouraging better standards of healthcare and trying to ensure that mistakes are not repeated.

“As a firm we are keen to support people who are seriously affected by medical accidents with a view to upholding the level of service that people need in this category of case. Part of that process is helping to raise standards of healthcare where there are identified failings.

“We know from experience that where there are shortcomings in the provision of healthcare, that can often result in poorer patient care which can result in their health problems deteriorating and becoming much more serious. Where, for example, there is a delay in getting an appointment, that can result in a delay in diagnosis and therefore treatment options can be adversely affected. That situation can only be exacerbated by service cuts like this.”