NHS staff face intolerable pressure
29 September 2017
- Royal College of Nursing publishes report on safe staffing levels
- The report finds that there are now more nurses leaving the NMC register than joining and that majority of shifts are understaffed
- We say despite working longer than recommended hours, it is getting more difficult for staff to provide safe and high quality care because of demand pressures
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has published a report on safe staffing levels - Safe and Effective Staffing: Nursing against the Odds.
The report argues that for the first time in years there are now more nurses and midwives leaving the NMC register than joining.
It found the majority of shifts reported were short of staff. Nursing staff often stated that care was compromised.
The RCN calls for legislation which guarantees safe and effective staffing levels, for all providers across health and care settings.
Responding to the report on safe staffing by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), the chief executive of NHS Providers, Chris Hopson, said:
“This report is a powerful reminder of the relentless pressures faced by frontline staff, whatever the time of year.
“As demand continues to grow it is becoming increasing difficult for staff to provide the safe, high quality care that patients deserve, even though many are routinely working longer than recommended hours, often in very challenging circumstances.
Trusts need national support including a plan to tackle current workforce gaps based on realistic training timetables and a credible long term workforce strategy.
“It is right that patient safety must be the first priority. This can not be assured when staff face intolerable pressure. That in turn is contributing to increased difficulties with recruitment and retention. Funding pressures, the NHS pay cap and uncertainties surrounding Brexit have compounded these problems.
“Trusts are doing all they can to sustain safe staffing levels under the most difficult circumstances. But they need national support including a plan to tackle current workforce gaps based on realistic training timetables and a credible long term workforce strategy to ensure the NHS has the right number of staff with the right skills in the right place.”