When we heard of plans to introduce Patient Support Officers in A&E at the NWRH, we contacted Maxine Wooler to ask about role specifics, resourcing and funding, and we met on 12 August to discuss the role.
This year there have been 170 code black incidents in A&E alone, with 103 in the rest of the hospital, so a permanent PSO in A&E is to help de-escalate things before they get to code black stage. PSOs have been at the LGH for some time and figures show a significant reduction in code blacks due to the shortened reaction time and visual presence.
We raised the following questions on your behalf:
Will the PSOs be directly employed? Yes, all will be directly employed.
How many PSOs will be on each shift? The intention is to have 2 on every shift.
Where will PSO FTE come from? PSOs will have their own FTE or be included in A&E, so their introduction will have no adverse effects on the allotted FTE for current attendants. A business case is being constructed and should be ready to submit in the near future.
Will attendants need to respond to A&E calls after PSOs are implemented? PSOs will cover most of the workload but there may be busier times where attendants may need to assist.
Management believe they can find suitable staff to fill the PSO positions and will be looking at candidates in the near future, so this puts any attendants who want to pick up more work in the box seat - keep your eye out for advertisements.
This plan seems beneficial to those who currently perform the duties and those who’ll be working in conjunction with the PSOs, but there could be teething problems during their implementation so if you see any issues or speed bumps that haven’t been considered be sure to raise them.
We’ll keep you updated.