Doctors’ fears for patient safety under demand pressures
16 March 2017
- Royal College of Physicians publish findings from survey in new report titled NHS Reality Check
- Survey finds that 74% of physicians are worried about delivering safe patient care over next year, while over half believe patient safety has deteriorated
- We say report shows that NHS frontline is feeling the pressure from current levels of demand and is stretched up to the limit
A survey by the Royal College of Physicians has revealed that 74% of physicians are worried about the ability of their service to deliver safe patient care over the next 12 months.
The results showed:
- 78% of respondents say demand is increasing
- Over half believe patient safety has deteriorated
- 82% believe the workforce is demoralised
The report was launched today (16 March 2017) at RCP’s annual conference in Manchester.
Responding to the report findings, the director of policy and strategy at NHS Providers, Saffron Cordery said:
“This report makes it clear that the NHS frontline is feeling the pressure of unprecedented demand on the health service.
“It is worrying that over half of doctors who responded to the RCP’s survey believe patient safety has deteriorated. This is distressing for patients and hugely demoralising for staff, who are working hard to deliver good care in very difficult circumstances.
Only one in four trust leaders are confident they have the right staff numbers, quality and skill mix to deliver high quality care and even fewer are confident for the future.
“Trusts have told us that concerns around staffing are now on a par with financial pressures in the system. Only one in four trust leaders are confident they have the right staff numbers, quality and skill mix to deliver high quality care and even fewer are confident for the future.
“The most recent NHS staff engagement survey showed that, while staff remain engaged and are resilient, high numbers of them are working extra hours to ensure they are able to deliver good care to their patients. This shows a workforce stretched up to, and sometimes beyond, its limits.
“It is thanks to the hard work of NHS staff that we have got through the busiest winter on record without a full blown crisis, but we cannot continue to rely on their goodwill in this way indefinitely.”