MORE than half the staff in one of the Royal Bolton Hospital’s busiest divisions have not completed mandatory training.

Only 45.98 per cent of staff working in the Acute Adult Care Division have completed core modules and only 53.44 per cent of staff in the Family Division have done their mandatory training.

The figures were revealed at Bolton NHS Foundation Trust’s board meeting, where directors said something must be done to improve the uptake of training.

Across the Trust, only 53.82 per cent of staff have completed the training, which includes health and safety, safeguarding children and lifting and handling.

The target is 95 per cent by the end of March.

Of the hospital’s 11 divisions in August, only three had completed more than 90 per cent of training, and three had completed less than 60 per cent. Many divisions have blamed low staffing levels for the poor uptake of training.

In June, only 66 per cent of 880 places were taken for a mandatory training session and the highest uptake for an E-Leaning package stands at 50 per cent for safeguarding children.

Nicky Ingham, director of workforce, delivered the report at the meeting, which showed mandatory training had increased in August, compared to July, by just over two per cent.

Ms Ingham said: “It is going in the right direction, but it is not going fast enough.”

The trust’s chairman, David Wakefield, said training needed to be improved and asked for management from the two worst-performing divisions, Acute Adult Care and Family, to appear at the next board meeting to explain why staff have not completed their mandatory training.

But Harry Hanley, secretary of the Royal Bolton Hospital’s Unison branch, said management was not to blame. He added: “It is unfair on them as they have got to juggle staff. You can’t be short-staffed in wards or on theatres.”

Mr Hanley was not surprised both the Family Division and Acute Adult Care were the worst performers, as they were two of the busiest departments. This training must be provided in working hours, he added.

A hospital spokesman insisted the mandatory training did not include that for the skills needed for performing surgery or medical interventions.

It covers a wide range of clinical governance and risk management issues from safeguarding adults and children, infection prevention and control, lifting and handling, to equality and diversity and fire procedures.

Staff in clinical areas or working with patients receive additional instruction as appropriate such as in the safe handling of patients, medicines management, protection of patients through conflict resolution and the safe use of equipment.

The mandatory training we provide is in line with national requirements including those of the National Health Service Litigation Authority.

l THE Bolton News would like to clarify that the shortage of midwives at the Royal Bolton Hospital is not putting lives at risk. This was reported in yesterday’s paper.

Chairman David Wakefield did say he was concerned about safety and did not want any adverse situations to take place in the maternity department.

But he did not say the current situation was risking lives.

l See tomorrow’s paper for a full report on falls at the hospital.