NHS teams ‘short-staffed and demoralised’

12 Mar 18

Conditions in the National Health Service have worsened in the last year and staff feel unable to provide the standard of care they have been trained to deliver.

That is the main finding from the annual NHS Reality Check, taken among 1,500 doctors by the Royal College of Physicians.

It said the results showed the UK must become more accessible and attractive to doctors from other countries, with visa restrictions relaxed for the healthcare workforce.

Funding for health and social care must match growing patient need, the college said, with increased investment in public health.

Within the NHS, it said doctors’ working environment should be more supportive and enable them “to meet and retain professional standards”. 

Among the survey’s main findings for the past year were:

  • 64% of doctors believe patient safety has deteriorated;
  • 93% experienced staff shortages across their team;
  • 84% believe that the workforce is demoralised.

RCP president Professor Jane Dacre said: “It is extremely worrying and depressing that our doctors have experienced an even worse winter than last year, particularly when so much effort was put into forward planning and cancelling elective procedures to enable us to cope better. 

“We simply cannot go through this again – it is not as if the situation was either new or unexpected.”

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