MORE nurses are being taken on by Ashington’s Wansbeck General Hospital to cope with an increase in workload.
Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust is ploughing an extra £3m into nursing at its Ashington, Hexham and North Shields hospitals.
A team of 11 nurses has been recruited to staff a new surgical assessment unit due to open at Wansbeck General in the new year.
Patients with problems such as abdominal discomfort will be transferred directly from the emergency care department for surgical assessment, helping ease pressure on the department.
Another new department opening shortly at the hospital is a palliative care ward for patients needing end-of-life care, with a new team of skilled nursing staff being recruited.
Rosemary Stephenson, director of nursing at the trust, said: “Our nurses are among the best in the country, and these extra nurses will help ease the pressure on existing staff at this busy time of year.”
Last year saw an unprecedented rise in the number of people attending emergency care departments – more than 2,500 patients altogether – as some of the worst weather for more than 30 years hit the region.
To ensure patients are treated quickly, the trust has made improvements to emergency care.
A new rapid access and treatment unit has been set up where patients can be observed and wait for test results.
A new group of student nurses joined the Trust in October, with the next intake in March next year.