THERE is a nursing crisis in the Island’s hospitals as a result of staff shortages and poor pay levels.
Nurses are working ‘horrendously’ long hours and many are breaking down in tears because they cannot give patients the care they need. Latest figures released by the Royal College of Nursing showed 64 vacancies in general and acute nursing personnel as well as 19 in mental health services.
The nursing unions say that not only have patients being turned away from elective surgery but others have been discharged early when they should not have been. This has led to readmissions and in one case the patient was rushed into the intensive care unit.
Health Minister Jim Perchard (pictured) has acknowledged the crisis and said that it is going to have to be addressed by his colleagues on the Council of Ministers. However, he said the staffing situation within the hospitals was particularly severe right now as a respiratory bug has led to increased admissions and also meant that many staff were off sick.