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pounds 800k for healthcare and jobs; 40 posts to be created.

Byline: HELEN RAE

A HEALTH trust is investing pounds 800,000 in a pioneering scheme to improve patient care and create up to 40 frontline nursing jobs.

County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust is investing the money on recruitment and training, which will enable ward sisters and community nurse team leaders to spend more time managing, leading and supervising staff.

The move has been backed by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), which says the pioneering scheme will enhance patient care.

Diane Murphy, Acting Director of Nursing at County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, said: "We have always provided high quality care to our patients, but there's always room for improvement.

"Over the last decade, nursing has changed dramatically. We're seeing greater numbers of patients who require more complex care.

"To meet the increased demand, our ward sisters and community nurse team leaders have been spending up to 80% of their time delivering that care and just 20% directing it.

"We need to turn those figures around. Investing in ward sisters and community nurse team leaders will enable them to concentrate on improving the high quality care we provide to our patients. They will achieve this by having more time manage their staff and patients."

The Trust employs more than 80 ward sisters and community nurse team leaders who oversee around 3,000 nurses. Each ward sister is charge of a team of around 30 full-time staff, caring for approximately 30 patients at any one time.

To support their changing roles, all ward sisters will receive additional training.

The plans have been welcomed by ward sister, Allison Todd, who manages 30 nurses on a medical ward at the University Hospital North Durham.

She said: "There's so much to do. With the new plans, I'll have more opportunity to coach my staff and identify the steps we need to take make care better for our patients."

Glenn Turp, regional director for RCN Northern Region, said: "The role of the supervisory ward sister crucial, because it means that all patients will know exactly who ultimately responsible for the overall continuity of their care throughout their treatment."
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:May 11, 2012
Words:356
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