A&E departments ‘hemorrhaging staff’ as exhausted staff leave en masse

A&E departments are haemorrhaging staff, an experienced Yorkshire nurse has warned.

Sandy Lay, who works for the Harrogate and District Foundation Trust and is also a local councilor in Leeds, said ‘overworked and overwhelmed’ colleagues were leaving the profession in droves.

Councilor Lay, who represents the Otley and Yeadon ward of Leeds for the Liberal Democrats, said he himself was ‘partially’ retiring in two weeks after ‘reassessing’ his post-pandemic work-life balance.

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Speaking at a review meeting on Wednesday, Councilor Lay said: ‘We were hemorrhaging A&E staff, because we’re burnt out, we’re overwhelmed, we’re overworked.

“We have a haemorrhage of experienced, knowledgeable and skilled practitioners. It is not enough to recruit, it is the quality of the recruitment. We need to hire newly graduated nurses and nurses who have one or two years of experience in a service.

Councilor Lay’s comments follow calls from Leeds hospital chiefs urging patients to stay away from A&E unless they are in a ‘truly life-threatening’ situation, in April.

NHS trusts across the country are now repeatedly missing targets to see 95% of all A&E attendees within four hours.

Councilor Lay made the remarks as he drew parallels with the Leeds Department of Children’s Services, and in particular services for young people with special needs.

Public bodies and councils have also had problems recruiting experienced officers since the pandemic.

Councilor Lay added: “The reason I say all this is because I suspect these are the same issues that you (the Department of Children’s Services) will have.

“It’s not just bums on desks. They have to learn the trade and understand the work and that takes time.

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Edward L. Robinett