Socialist Worker

Hospitals are 'dangerously understaffed'

Issue No. 2339

Some 57 percent of respondents to a survey by Nursing Times (NT) magazine described their ward or unit as sometimes or always “dangerously understaffed”.

Around 600 nurses responded to the online survey last week about levels of staffing and patient safety.

The survey coincides with the publication of the Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust public inquiry report which was set to be published on Wednesday of this week.

Nurses’ jobs were slashed at Mid Staffs to save money. The inquiry examined why management did not notice the appalling conditions this caused.

Cost cutting caused up to 1,200 “needless” deaths.

The inquiry heard that forms filled in by nurses worried about staffing levels ended up in the bin.

A nurse who took part in the NT survey said, “It is becoming increasingly difficult to ensure that all patients are kept safe while in my care.”

Some 73 percent said they had completed a form in the last year because an “adverse incident”.

And 76 percent of these said they had not got any feedback or response.

Some 23 percent said they were “at risk” of a similar situation occurring at their trust and 12 percent thought that it was already happening at their trust.

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