WIGAN Infirmary has hired more nursing staff to help speed up patient waiting times and ease NHS pressures.
It is the latest local measure to help share the strain of record numbers of patients coming to A&E and the knock-on effect this has on other departments both in Wigan and around the country.
Bosses say they have brought in a number of nurses around the hospital to help enhance patient care.
Diane Lee, Head of Nursing in Unscheduled Care, said: “We haven’t appointed any extra nurses in A&E specifically to reduce pressures.
“But we have appointed nursing staff to different roles to assist in supporting patient flow and to enhance patient experience.
“These in particular are the development of an Initial Senior Assessment and Treatment team (ISAT), a transfer team and a medical allocation co-ordinator.”
An emergency plan has been devised by NHS Wigan Borough Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) in a further attempt to relieve A&E pressures.
Extra funding to pay for an additional 16,000 GP appointments over the remainder of the winter and an addition of 40 extra beds around the community, to ensure patients leave hospital as soon as possible but are still able to get the correct treatment, figure in the contingency plan.
GPs are also being placed in casualty to undertake triage and divert patients who don’t need A&E towards other health services. Improvements to mental health services are also being planned.
The measures were taken after it was reported hospitals are currently spending £1,269 a minute on expensive agency nurses because big NHS cuts left wards dangerously short-staffed.