Hospitals in England do not have enough nurses, with most failing to reach their own targets for levels of safe staffing.

The Health Service Journal reviewed the average number of nurses working across the 225 acute hospital trusts in England during August 2015.

It found that 92% of hospitals did not have the intended level of nursing staff during the day.

The analysis also showed that 81% of hospitals did not reach nursing level targets during the night, and 79% failed to reach targets during both day and night.

Nursing shortages have been a serious problem for the NHS, with many hospitals having to use expensive agency staff and recruit from overseas, just to provide safe staffing levels.

Chief executive of the Royal College of Nursing Janet Davies says the NHS is recovering from the government’s cost-cutting policies, which saw a temporary cap on the number of trainee nurses.

“We went through a period of time where we were trying to save money. We cut posts, we didn’t train enough nurses and we’re still feeling the effect of that”, she said.

“We’ve a long way to go. We’ve got to catch up on this for some time. But equally, we have to keep the nurses we’ve already got.”

“It’s great to train people, it’s great to bring people in, but our experienced nurses are leaving. They’re leaving because they’re overtired.”

She added that nurses are so overworked they cannot provide comprehensive care. “They do get very concerned because they know what they should be doing for patients and if they can’t, it’s really upsetting.”

This echoes a survey recently conducted by the Nursing Times, where 80% of nurses said they were under more stress at work that a year ago.

More than half felt they ‘rarely’ or ‘never’ had enough time to provide safe care, and a third said their team was ‘always’ short-staffed.

Nursing care claims

If you would like to talk to a solicitor about substandard nursing care, please get in touch with us at Glynns Solicitors.

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