GSD concerned at ICU staffing proposals
The GSD has expressed ‘concern’ as it claimed that the GHA is proposing to replace experienced ICU nurses on fixed term contracts with newly qualified nurses.
In a statement the Opposition said: “Doctors and nurses have expressed concern to us that this will impact adversely on the ability of the ICU to deliver the first rate service it delivers at the moment.”
The GSD stated that for the ICU to continue to deliver that service the ICU requires experienced and trained ICU nurses.
“These skills cannot be acquired without significant training and experience in large ICU units outside Gibraltar,” it said.
“That is the reason why many of the nurses in the ICU are not local.”
“The GSD recognises that it is important to employ local people in all areas of the GHA but care has to be taken it is not at the expense of the quality of care provided in extremely delicate and important front line services.”
Replacing very experienced nurses at the ICU with inexperienced ones, even if local, is not the answer, the Opposition said.
According to the GSD, the answer is to maintain the level of experience at the ICU and train local people to the highest standards even if it means sending them to large ICU units in the UK.
“Once trained, we would expect those local people to be employed in the ICU but patient care has to take priority.”
“In addition, the information we have is that night time staffing levels at the ICU already fall short of the minimum required for High Dependency Unit care and when there are several ICU level care patients needing one to one nursing care, resources are severely stretched.”
“These plans to replace experienced staff with non experienced ones, if it goes ahead, will simply make matters worse,” the GSD added.