Last year staffing concerns caused us a few worries. Our physiotherapist left , quickly followed by our oxygen nurse. Soon after that another nurse was absent on long term sickness then, just before Christmas, another nurse was on compassionate leave. What had been a busy team of five was reduced to just one. Respiratory nursing is so specialised, they can't fill these gaps easily. Back-up was pulled in from around the locality, with various people filling the gaps to keep the service going. Our respiratory team has run a good program of home care, pulmonary rehab, hospital clinics etc. over many years, and has continued to do so over the last few months by carefully prioritising needs and careful management of available staff.
Chris Burrows our lead respiratory nurse, and Fiona Reynolds, Head of Nursing in ABMUHB (Abertawe Bro Morganwg University Health Board) came to our Breathe Easy meeting on Friday, to talk through all these issues with us. We had all been worried that we couldn't see how only one or two people could do the work of five with widely differing skills. Happily now a new physiotherapist has begun work, someone has taken over oxygen assessment and another nurse has returned to her post, so things are not quite so frantic.
Let's hope for a calmer year ahead.