UK warned of generational choice on NHS funding Think-tanks

The report published by the Institute for Fiscal studies and the Health Foundation clearly serves to show the challenge the UK NHS faces. This report is published at the same time as the current sharp focus on the rising costs of caring for patients suffering from degenerative conditions such as Alzheimers which brings a more human element to the issues we face. The forecast of £2000/ year extra needed per household in order to balance the needs of the current generation whilst being fair to the next generation is a stark figure and will surely cause concern amongst those who

Declining numbers of nurses practicing in the UK

The release of new figures by the Nursing and Midwifery Council clearly shows the continued decline in the number of nurses practicing in the UK compared to a year ago.  Whilst a decrease of 500 nurses across the country may not sound a lot it comes on top of a trend that has been evident for a number of months and, if you’re the patient who is impacted by such staff shortages, then the impact on your care could be considerable. Registrations in all fields of nursing have reduced in the last 2 years with only 1 exception.  The revised

Rise in Number of Nurses and Midwives in Scotland Masks Increase in Vacancies

The Scottish Government has published quarterly statistics showing that the Scottish NHS workforce is at a record high. Overall, there were 60,037 whole-time equivalent (WTE) nursing and midwifery staff in post on 31 December 2017, which is 0.6% more than a year ago. However, while this news is to be welcomed, we cannot overlook a corresponding change in nursing and midwifery vacancy figures which shows that total vacancies increased by 0.6% in comparison to 31 December 2016 to 2,540.4 WTE – a vacancy rate of 4.1%. Of these vacancies, 852.9 WTE posts were vacant for more than three months. This represents an increase of

Short Staffing Exacerbates Medication Errors in NHS

A new study commissioned by the Department of Health and Social Care has estimated that over 237 million medication errors are made each year in England with 66 million potentially significant clinical mistakes. A medication error is a preventable event that may lead to inappropriate medication use or patient harm. The study reported error rates in primary care, care homes and secondary care, and at the various stages of the medication pathway, ranging from 0.2% to 90.6%. Errors were more likely in older people, or in the presence of co-morbidity and polypharmacy. Responding to the report, the Royal College of

NHS ‘dangerously’ short of staff

Over 35,000 nurse posts in the health service in England are currently vacant, according to data published for the first time by NHS Improvement as part of its latest quarterly update. The high number of unfilled posts has coincided with the NHS coming under immense pressure, with 250,000 more people visiting A&E than in the equivalent three-month period in 2016. The regulator’s latest report puts official figures on nurse shortages in the public domain for the first time. “All the evidence shows that standards of patient care rise and fall as nurse numbers do.” – Janet Davies, chief executive and general secretary

Recruitment crisis hits NHS with one in nine posts currently vacant

About 40,000 nursing posts are now vacant in the NHS in England as the service heads for the worst recruitment crisis in its history, according to official new data. Responses to Freedom of Information requests submitted to trusts by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) show that one in nine posts are now unfilled – double the level in 2013. The data obtained by the RCN also suggests that fewer care providers are now employing registered nurses, raising new fears over patient safety. Research in all four countries of the United Kingdom, carried out by ComRes for the RCN, shows that four out of