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Temp workers drafted in to help Watford General Hospital train staff
Thousands of staff at Watford General Hospital need to undergo patient protection training - meaning extra temporary workers are having to be drafted in to replace them.
Just 53 per cent of staff members who needed ‘Level 1’ adult safeguarding training had been given it as of June, leaving 2,235 untrained, according to a West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust (WHHT) Board meeting report last month.
An even lower proportion (25 per cent) had received ‘Level 2’ training, leaving 2,234 untrained.
The report added: "Due to the low numbers of recorded training it is estimated that it will take two to three years to reach a compliance of 85 per cent."
For children safeguarding, the report said: "85 per cent compliance should be achieved by April 2014".
With rising numbers of A&E admissions, the trust is coming under increasing 'clinical' pressure at a time when it is looking to train scores of staff to required safeguarding levels, and so temporary workers are being brought in to shore up the ranks.
To encourage staff to attend training sessions, Watford General said it offers two types of training - face-to-face ‘classroom-based’ sessions and online ‘e-learning’. It is "actively promoting ‘e-learning’ as this offers staff more flexibility, ie they can do it at a time that best suits them".
In a statement, the trust said: "Like hospitals across the country, we have seen an increase in the number of people using our A&E (accident and emergency) department, with a rise in the number of patients who need to be admitted, often with complex and multiple health issues.
"As a trust, our priority is to keep our patients safe and to prevent them from being harmed.
"This applies both in and outside of hospital (known as safeguarding) with a specific focus on children and vulnerable adults.
"To do this, we employ a raft of measures, including producing an annual safeguarding children and vulnerable adults annual report and action plan. "We also have a dedicated safeguarding team and work closely with a range of partners, including the council, police and other NHS colleagues, to ensure we have a ‘joined-up’ approach in identifying and preventing harm and to support people who are the victim of harm.
"We employ additional temporary staff to cover staff when they undertake training."
The hospital has formed action plans to ensure the training is completed as soon as possible, and added that it is aiming to "deliver ahead of schedule".
Herts County Council spokesman Camphung Liu said: "Hertfordshire Safeguarding Adults Board (HSAB) aims to protect all adults from abuse and take immediate action to ensure the continued safety of a vulnerable adult when an allegation of abuse is made.
"Care providers are regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), who undertake regular compliance inspections. HSAB commissions services from regulated providers and works closely with the CQC to ensure the continued care and protection of vulnerable adults.
"This year's HSAB Annual Report is currently being drafted and will be published on www.hertsdirect.org when it is complete. The report will have more details about the systems currently in place to prevent adult abuse."
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