Some staff say they would be “really worried” if they needed treatment or care from the trust they work for
Never miss the latest local news again by signing up to our Daily Newsletter
Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has been branded as failing – by some of its own staff
Those staff claim to be at breaking point as systemic failures put patients' lives at risk in Gloucestershire.
They say they would worry if they needed treatment or care from the Trust.
Read more:Gloucestershire hospitals secretly declare "black alert" as patients forced to wait 10 hours in ambulance
Branding working conditions in A&E alone as unsustainable – with shortages of staff and equipment – some 27 members of staff have signed a letter to hospital trust directors calling for urgent change.
The letter, which was leaked to ITV News West Country, says the deepening shortfall in medical and nursing staff levels across the emergency departments at Gloucestershire Royal and Cheltenham General Hospitals must be resolved to maintain basic minimum standards of care.
It goes on to say the hospital bosses have failed to hear or refuse to act on critical failures and near misses.
An A&E member of staff who did not wish to be named said: “Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation trust is basically failing the community it serves.
“Frankly, working conditions in A & E are simply unsustainable, they have been for a long time and things are not improving, there literally isn’t a time when the A&E department isn’t at capacity, when staffing and equipment are not at full stretch or beyond it.
“I’m just ashamed and embarrassed by what is considered acceptable or normal as far as the general level of care and patient safety goes.
“Many of my colleagues have said they would be really worried if they needed treatment or care from the trust they actually work for, I’ve said it myself.
“Personally, I'm at breaking point.
“Some managers have told staff to stop reporting patient safety issues.
"They’ve been told it isn’t helpful. That’s why some of the A&E department staff decided to finally take a stand and make their concerns known and that’s one of the reasons why I signed the letter.
“If the letter is not a vote of no confidence in the trust's senior management, then I don't know what is.”
Get the stories that get you talking – sign up to the Gloucestershire / Herefordshire daily newsletter today right here.
A spokesperson for Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said their A&E services have never been more challenged, and staff have never worked under such sustained and considerable pressure.
They say they are doing everything they can to manage the challenges and the impact on patients and staff.
“It is always disappointing when staff feel unable to raise their concerns within the organisation, but it takes courage to speak up and it is the right thing to do when staff are concerned about the safety of their services or their colleagues,” a spokesperson said.
“Importantly, there are no issues raised in the correspondence that are not understood by the board and being addressed as a matter of urgency. However, we fully recognise that at times of peak demand, when the department is at its busiest, the quality of care is impacted despite our teams are doing their best in very difficult circumstances.
“Staff are similarly impacted, and we have ensured a range of measures to support staff, based on what they have told us makes the most difference to their wellbeing and morale, such as continuation of free parking, subsidised meals and access to personal or team support including counselling.
“The trust leadership, managers and every member of front-line staff are absolutely committed to delivering the best possible care to our patients, their families and our colleagues but, sadly, these unprecedented times mean that at times the experience of both staff and patients is not what any of us aspire to.
“All staff have been reminded of the ways they can share their concerns and encouraged to continue to make suggestions for any further actions we can take, to improve care or their working conditions.”
We want to hear your thoughts on this story, so please log in and leave your comment below.