Could Royal Bucks nurses help Spinal Injuries Centre staffing crisis?

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A world renowned spinal injuries centre is suffering from a costly level of sickness absence rates.

The National Spinal Injuries Centre at Stoke Mandeville Hospital was at the centre of the world’s focus for the Paralympic Games this summer.

However, this year it has already spent £937,000 more on temporary nurses than it did last year due to high levels of sickness absence vacancy cover.

Bucks Healthcare NHS Trust has now introduced a ‘comprehensive action plan’ to tackle the issue including possibly employing nurses who have lost their jobs at the closed Royal Bucks Hospital.

Trust non-executive director Les Broude said: “I do have concerns between the correlation of staff sickness and temporary staffing.”

The centre has a target sickness absence rate of 3% but it currently sits at 7%.

Human resources director Sandra Hatton said ward changes between Stoke Mandeville and Wycombe Hospitals could have played a role.

But the centre has said it will now introduce regular health meetings and will increase its permanent staffing.