St George's Hospital "working hard" to deal with myriad problems
7:00am Wednesday 6th March 2013 in News
Breached MRSA and C diff thresholds, failed accident and emergency (A&E) targets and high sickness rates are just some of the problems facing St George’s Hospital following its latest trust board meeting.
The Tooting hospital’s quarterly meeting, held last month, revealed a number of concerns.
Top of the pile was the hospital’s vacancy rate that is at 10 per cent, which equates to more than 700 unfilled posts at the hospital.
This is combined with increased absence through illness with the sickness rate at the hospital at 4 per cent, above the 3 per cent target set by the Department of Health.
The hospital defended its recruitment policy by claiming the vacant posts allow for flexibility and said departments were not at “unsafe” levels of staffing.
A spokesman for the hospital added it was aiming to achieve the 3 per cent Government sickness target in 2013. Concerns with hospital infection rates were also reported and it was revealed that MRSA and C diff thresholds had already been breached.
In response the hospital said it would be investigating each individual case to identify any potential patterns in the nature of infection.
A&E figures are also behind with the hospital failing to make the 95 per cent target for a four hour turnaround.
The trust is also behind with collecting payments from private patients to the tune of £500,000 and the hospital said it was “working hard” to improve its overseas debt recovery process.
A spokesman for St George’s said: “Maintaining vacant posts allows the trust to recruit when services need to, meaning we can make the right choice for the right job at the right time, rather than going through the lengthy process of establishing a new position from scratch. Our year to date performance is within the 95 per cent national target. The numbers who attend the A&E department often fluctuates, with a general rise in attendances reported in the winter months.
“As a major acute healthcare provider, a high percentage of our patients require more complex and expensive care which other trusts do not offer