Austin: Russells Hall report shows staff need support

Dudley MP Ian Austin has warned that a new report on care at Russells Hall shows that frontline staff need more support.

The report by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) rates the Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust as ‘Requiring Improvement’ overall.

Although the report rates staff care and leadership at the hospital as good, it raises concerns about safe staffing levels, saying that “the trust must ensure that staffing levels and cover for vacant shifts is satisfactory”.

The report comes as hospital bosses look to cut jobs at the hospital in an attempt to tackle a £12 million deficit at Russells Hall.

Austin has accused the government of losing control of NHS finances and failing to make frontline care the priority, and has written to the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt urging him to give Dudley hospitals the resources they need to tackle the crisis.

Ian Austin said:

“When me or a member of my family is ill, we queue up at Russells Hall like anybody else in Dudley, so I’m really concerned that this report says improvements are still needed.

“Doctors, nurses and other staff are working flat out at Russells Hall but the government have squandered £3 billion on reorganising the NHS instead of supporting front-line staff.

“David Cameron promised the NHS would be safe in his hands, but our local hospital is facing a crisis because of his cutbacks.

“Local people are facing longer waits at A&E, cancelled operations at their highest level for a decade and waits for vital cancer tests and treatments increasing too. The Tories need to get a grip on their finances and give hospitals the resources they need.”

The full CQC report on Russells Hall can be found here.