Nursing boost to protect frail and elderly


Cheltenham and Gloucester hospitals will recruit 17 new nurses and 11 health care assistants as part of a £900,000 investment in care for frail and elderly patients.

Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (GHNHSFT), which runs both hospitals, will boost patient care at Cheltenham General Hospital (CGH) and Gloucestershire Royal Hospital (GRH).

The majority of the new nurses will be recruited to the hospital’s Medical Division where they will look after more frail and elderly patients. 

The investment by the Trust marks a continued commitment to high quality care across both sites. Over the last five years around £5.5m has now been spent on nursing recruitment and nursing programmes aimed at improving patient care.

Maggie Arnold, Director of Nursing, said: “We are absolutely committed to providing patients with high quality care across both our hospitals in Cheltenham and Gloucester. An important part in providing that care is ensuring we have the right staff in the right place delivering the right care at the right time. 

“In Gloucestershire we have a much higher percentage of elderly residents than the national average and we know that elderly people do rely more on health and care services. By supporting this initiative Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is ensuring that frail elderly patients will continue to benefit from high quality care in our hospitals.”

To ensure safe levels of staffing and the right blend of nursing skills, GHNHSFT conducts a bi-annual review of its nursing staff against national indicators. Guidance from the Francis Report (2013) endorses this approach.

“Not only can we assess staffing levels as part of these reviews but we can also assess our nursing skills mix so that we can align them to the areas of need.” added Maggie Arnold.

The announcement comes fast on the heels of a number of programmes this year to boost nursing.  This includes an additional £1.2million on nurses as part of the hospital’s planned response to meet increased demand over the busy winter period, £700,000 to free up ward sisters from direct caseload so they can be more visible to patients, their families and carers and £174,000 investment on introducing Clinical Nurse Tutors to train nurses on bedside.  


Over the past five years the Trust has invested £5.5M in nursing.
This includes:


• 2008: Initially £350k for mental health nurses (this rose to £600k in 2011 as the

Primary Care Trust asked us to manage the acute sited crisis team as well)

• 2009: £50K for Learning Disability Nurses

• 2010/11: £1.119 million for increasing nursing and midwifery staffing numbers for maternity and paediatrics

• 2011: £135K for dual role nurses in Obstetric Theatres

• 2011: £50k funding for two band 6 Alcohol Liaison Nurses

• 2012: £250k for extra nurses in the General & Old Age Medicine wards

• 2012: £500k was given to the Divisions in addition to their normal set budgets prorate to back fill maternity leave and long-term sickness

• 2012: £900k Emergency Medicine was given an extra investment for nursing

• 2013: £700k for the implementation of the Supervisory Role for

Ward Leaders

• 2013: £1.2 million for nursing as part of the Winter Plan.