Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has today called on the Scottish Government to take urgent action after a new survey from the Royal College of Nursing found short staffing was having a direct impact on the quality of care received by patients.
The research, from the Royal College of Nursing, revealed that more than half of nurses reported their last shift was short staffed while 53% said patient care was being compromised.
Mr Cole-Hamilton said:
"There is nothing ambiguous about this diagnosis. The nursing profession are quite clear that they are short staffed and this is impacting on patient care. This is not fair on our hardworking NHS staff and has potentially grave consequences for patients.
"The Scottish Government has been incapable of explaining how it will tackle the increasing shortage of nursing staff. Hundreds more posts are lying vacant for months on end. Nicola Sturgeon's decision to cut training places has come back to bite.
"Ministers need to urgently take the pressure off nurses by giving them the support and resources they need and delivering the sustainable workforce our NHS requires."
In Scotland over 3,000 RCN members responded to the survey. Of those:
- Half (51 per cent) of respondents told us their last shift was not staffed to the level planned and 53 percent said that care was compromised as a result.
- Over half (54 per cent) of respondents reported that they didn’t have enough time to provide the level of care they would like, 47 per cent said that they felt demoralised and over half (54 per cent) said are upset that they could not provide the level of care they wanted.
- 61% of respondents worked extra time – on average 46 minutes at the end of their shift.
- Over a third (34%) said that because of a lack of time they had to leave necessary care undone.