Large nursing shortages in southern Sweden

Large nursing shortages in southern Sweden
There are fears of staffing shortages in Skåne. File photo of a patient: Shutterstock
There are over 130 vacant nursing positions at Skåne University Hospital, leading to a shortage of beds for patients.

Local newspaper Sydsvenskan reported that the hospital loses 10 staff a month. The knock-on-effect is that 1,150 beds can't be used, forcing longer waiting periods in the emergency room. 

"The situation is worse than before," personnel manager Gudren Berggren told the paper. The nursing areas which are most affected by the shortages are surgery, internal medicine, orthopaedics and neurology.

She added that in the past it was a lack of speciality nurses which was the major problem, but that the numbers of general nurses has also dwindled.

The division manager for the emergency medicine division agreed with Berggren that things were getting worse not better.

"It's worse than last year. Then we didn't have to have beds out of use because we didn't enough staff. However this won't affect patient safety as it is mostly co-workers and the working environment [that will have to cope]."

With the winter vomiting bug season just around the corner she said the hospital would come under increasing pressure.

The hospital presently has to cope with the increased costs of hiring temporary staff to deal with the shortages. In an attempt to attract more nurses they are going to increase the basic entry salary, which currently stands at 22,000 kronor ($3,000), on January 1st next year.  

TT/The Local/pr

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