NHS must 'get a grip' on workplace wellbeing
Published: 24 July 2012
The Royal College of Nursing has said the Government must sit up and take notice of a new survey which found nurse staffing and workforce issues have a significant impact on satisfaction levels and patient care.
The RN4CAST survey of nurses in more than 400 general medical and surgical wards in 31 English trusts was part of an international research programme looking at links between nursing workforce issues and patient outcomes across 15 countries.
The survey found:
- on wards with lower registered nurse staffing levels, nurses were more likely to say that care had been left undone due to lack of time
- working with inadequate staffing not only puts patients at risk, but places immense pressure on staff, and this has a knock-on effect on morale
- nearly half of the nurses surveyed would leave their current job if they could.
Janet Davies, RCN Director of Nursing and Service Delivery, said: “Nurses regularly tell us that they are too busy to provide the standard of care they would like. When staff are pushed to breaking point, patient care is the inevitable casualty.
“Furthermore we know that more than 60,000 posts are being lost in the NHS. In some areas, such as older people’s wards, staffing levels are lamentably low and the workforce, despite trying their best, are stretched too thin. There needs to be a system in place to guarantee safe staffing levels.”
She also called on trusts and decision makers to “get a grip” of a crisis in the making.
Janet added: “As well as harming patients and placing staff under huge pressure, this also affects NHS finances – the Boorman review identified over half a billion pounds that could be saved on a recurring basis if staff health and wellbeing was more effectively prioritised.”