Nurses in tears after 20 home visits in a shift
Overworked nurses were in tears during a visit by government inspectors to a shortstaffed community health provider.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) found that nurses working for Locala were having to do more than 20 home visits in a single shift.
Stress was leading to staff sickness at the organisation, which provides nursing to housebound patients in Kirklees and Calderdale and Bradford, according to a report by the watchdog.
Batley-based Locala was rated “inadequate” in two areas - community health inpatient services and community health services for adults.
But the CQC deemed the organisation to be “good” for dental services and for looking after young people and families.
The report found that between July and September last year, there were 220 occasions when nurses had 20 or more home visits in a shift.
More than half of nurses the inspectors spoke to said their workloads were too high.
The report said: “A notable number of the nurses we spoke with were in tears during the inspection due to the pressure of the workload, which they said had been the situation for several months.”
The CQC also raised concerns over infection control procedures, the investigation of safety incidents and staff training.
Locala said work was already underway to address the concerns raised and improvements had been made.
Chief executive Robert Flack said the inspectors did see examples of outstanding care.
He said: “We deeply regret there were issues relating primarily to two out of more than 40 services, where there were isolated instances resulting in a small number of patients not receiving the high standards of care we aspire to, and to which they have a right to expect. For that we are sorry.”