GLASGOW’S health board has thanked neonatal staff after complaints were raised about alleged staff shortages.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said it recognised the “increased pressure” on staff and services during this “unprecedented time”.

It comes after whistleblowers at the Royal Hospital for Children claimed there was a “critical” lack of staffing leaving workers emotionally and physically drained. The ward, situated within the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Govan, cares for extremely premature and seriously ill babies. Workers, who asked not to be named, said additional staff were needed to help cope with the demands of patient care.

Staffing shortages throughout maternity and neonatal wards have been reported throughout the nation, as the UK Government urged pregnant women to have their coronavirus vaccines in a bid to ease pressure on hospitals.

A spokesperson for NHSGGC said: “We want to thank all of our staff for their continued commitment to our patients, their families and their colleagues during this unprecedented time and we recognise the increased pressure on both our staff and our services.

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“This has been a particularly challenging time for our staff at the Royal Hospital for Children neonatal unit, who provide such vital, and often complex care, during what can be a stressful and worrying time for families.

“At all times, the safety and care of our patients and the wellbeing of staff is our absolute priority ... To help deal with current pressures, we have frequent safety huddles throughout the day to assess the situation and support our staff and, at times, the redeployment of appropriate medical and nursing staff may be utilised. There is a further national meeting each day, where all neonatal units across Scotland work collaboratively to ensure workload is managed and teams are supported.

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“We welcome feedback and urge staff to speak openly and directly to allow us to continue to support them.”