Nurses Fear Patients Are At Risk Of Neglect

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Two in three nurses fear their patients are at risk of neglect in their own hospital Three quarters of nurses have expressed concern that healthcar...
  • Two in three nurses fear their patients are at risk of neglect in their own hospital
  • Three quarters of nurses have expressed concern that healthcare executives put financial targets ahead of care
  • A nursing poll carried out by the Royal College of Nursing indicated that one third believed staffing levels were too low
  • Shockingly, the survey found that nearly 50 percent of staff wouldn’t want family treated in their hospital

A recent study, released on Sunday 21st April reveals that two thirds of nurses polled believe patients in their own hospitals are at risk of neglect. The report also highlighted concerns that bosses put financial targets ahead of patient care, according to three quarters of nurses; while a third say staffing is dangerously low.


These findings come from a poll of 8,000 nurses conducted by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) in the United Kingdom. However, there is concern that this feeling could be mutual in other parts of the world. The report was conducted in the wake of one of the UKs hospital scandals – at the Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust, up to 1,200 died from neglect between 2005 and 2009. The NHS Trust described how patients were subject to ‘inhumane’ treatment because bosses prioritised targets ahead of care.

Furthermore in March another NHS survey found that nearly 40 percent of doctors and nurses would not want family members treated in their own hospital. The RCN says understaffing often causes poor care, and it is particularly concerned about shortages on elderly wards where many patients have dementia and need help with basic tasks such as eating and washing.

In a separate poll, the RCN found that a third of 2,086 ward sisters and senior community nurses felt staffing levels were unsafe at least once a week. Three quarters said they were potentially dangerous at least once a month while one in ten said they were rarely ever safe.

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The Cause Of The Problem

According to the latest official figures, the NHS lost 2,409 nurses last year, down from 372,277 to 369,868. However, the number of unqualified healthcare assistants rose by 2,691 over the same period. This statistic leaves some experts worrying that hospitals are replacing better paid senior nurses with inexperienced staff on similar wages to cleaners.

Other figures compiled by the RCN show NHS nurses spend 2.5million hours a week on needless paperwork. More than half of the 6,387 who took part in the poll said the amount pointless admin had soared in recent months.


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