Trust chiefs say ‘staffing is a priority’ after Harbour worker’s concern

The Harbour in Blackpool
The Harbour in Blackpool

Bosses at Blackpool’s flagship mental health facility have insisted safe staffing levels are ‘a priority’, following concerns from a member of staff.

The worker, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said medics were also being asked to staff a mental health assessment ward at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

The worker claimed: “Staff go to work for their shift at the Harbour to be sent by taxi to the Vic without warning.

“This is leaving the Harbour ward short-staffed and with no consistency for the assessment ward.”

A ward at The Harbour was forced to shut temporarily two years ago because of a staff shortage.

A spokesman for Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the £40m facility in Preston New Road, Marton, said: “Ensuring the safe staffing of all elements of our services is a priority.

“We continue to use the safe care staffing system at the Harbour, which ensures our staffing levels are safe to meet patient need and provide quality of care.

“Sometimes we are required to allocate our workforce flexibly and according to service demand.

“However we always ensure that our ward areas have the right skill, mix of staff, and the correct ratio of qualified staff. We recognise that some staff may have a core working base.

“However, sometimes we require to allocate staff to other areas to support staffing across our range of provision.”

Last year, more people arrived at Blackpool’s A&E suffering from a mental health crisis than at any other hospital in the country, with patients left waiting for hours, The Gazette previously reported.