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The NHS Staffing Crisis: The care of our tiniest & most vulnerable patients is suffering.

I work in a level 3 neonatal unit and I am currently getting so sick to the back teeth of the pressures we are all being put under.

Staff in our unit are currently working with intensive care babies being nursed in the special care department due to how busy it is in the intensive care department. We do not have the staff to care for a baby who is classed as intensive care, that baby should be 1 to 1 (under BAPM guidelines) but they are being cared for by one trained nurse and a health care support worker who are also caring for between 5 and 8 other babies. The ranges of those babies are both high dependency and special care and they are just not getting the care and attention they require!

Due to the activity on the unit staff are also not getting breaks. We have staff in absolute agony as they can't get away for their breaks to take medication. Staff having dizzy spells due to not eating. People are taking on extra shifts on a regular basis in order to fill in staffing gaps but are ending up ill! It is beyond a joke! But hey Humza thinks its OK as the newly qualified nurses are due to start on the wards soon. He is deluded, as these new nurses will require support when starting out! They can't just be thrown in the deep end (which is probably what is going to happen), they will end up leaving as nursing is not what they had thought it would be. I know of people who have started in our ward and who have left only after a year/ 2 years due to not being supported. How can these nurses be supported when the place is so busy with no staff to teach them?

Oh and then on the occasional time when we have an OK level of staff to get through, someone gets moved to another ward. Unbelievable! Staff I work with who have nursed for 35+ years have said this is the worst they have ever seen staffing in the NHS. That speaks volumes to me, I have nursed 12 years so I worry about the future of nursing for myself and my colleagues.

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