Publish date: 1 July 2022

A message from Mark Latham, Deputy Division Director of Secure Care:

"Dear All,

As you are aware staffing challenges within the Division have increased in recent weeks and these challenges have been most felt in High Secure at Ashworth. A number of clinical and operational issues, including increased Covid within our patient and staff groups, an increase in external hospital escorts, high vacancy levels and the seasonal summer challenges.  This has resulted in the Trust Executives agreeing to our request for Ashworth Hospital to enter a period of business continuity.

The Division is looking at ways to step down Services and ward based tasks to alleviate the pressures on are wards in HSS. These changes will be communicated to you by your managers over the coming days.

We are actively trying to recruit and in support of this we are arranging a series of specific recruitment events for High Secure, the first of these is on 4 August 2022.  We have agreed a large advertising campaign including coverage in the national and local press, across social media as well as advertising on websites other than just NHS jobs.  At a recent recruitment event focused towards Nursing Assistants we offered posts to 48 people, with a similar event being planned for August.  In addition to this we are also recruiting to vacancies in the rehabilitation services across the Division.

I would like to thank you for your continued hard work to help provide the best care and positive experience for our patients through this difficult time, it is very much appreciated by me and the Senior Leadership Team.

Many thanks"