King’s Mill Hospital nursing cuts will ‘be a risk to health’

Sutton. Susan Brunt
Sutton. Susan Brunt

A CHRONICALLY ill Sutton woman is furious at King’s Mill Hospital nursing staff redundancy plans which could put her and other patients’ health at ‘serious risk’.

Susan Brunt, of Highland Drive, suffers from Crohn’s disease - a serious bowel condition - and says plans to slash the number of specialist nurses at the hospital would deeply affect her treatment and that of other chronically ill folk.

Ms Brunt, who spoke out following news that 145 non-ward nurse jobs at King’s Mill were at risk of redundancy, said she could not imagine life without the specialist nurses who provide her treatment.

“They are like angels all of them. They have been there for us at some very difficult times and I cannot imagine what we would do without them.

“When I first heard about the redundancies I was very angry but also very scared about the future. (The nurses) are extremely important to our care. They are the first people I ring when I suffer a flare up. Their level of expertise in my illness is second to none and if I’m unwell, I can ring them and talk to them the same day.

“It’s not just my condition. Any chronic conditions like Crohn’s, arthritis - all of the patients with conditions that are not going to go away are affected by this.

“If I lose this service I would have to visit my doctor every time I was ill for a referral to the hospital. It is going to make life very difficult.”

Susan said the quick thinking of a specialist nurse may have prevented her 25-year-old daughter Tina from becoming seriously ill when she contacted her with concerns she might also be suffering from Crohn’s disease.

“It was shortly before Tina’s 18th birthday when I contacted my nurse and told her I thought Tina might have Crohn’s. She got her into the hospital for tests straight away, and it was confirmed Tina has Crohn’s. It was so vital she was able to be seen that quickly - the condition can progress very rapidly and potentially and put your life in danger.”

John Browne, Deputy Director of Nursing for Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said a work force review of 145 non ward based nurse roles, including specialist nurses was being undertaken.

“Any staff in posts that are identified as potentially suitable to be dis-established will be issued with an ‘at risk of redundancy’ letter. Following this, individual consultations will take place and efforts will be made to explore with staff all opportunities for securing suitable alternative employment.

“We will continue to keep all affected staff regularly updated on progress and support will continue to be offered to staff throughout the consultation process.”