BackBack to menu

Forgotten password

Enter your email address. We'll send you a link to reset your password
  • 09 May 2013
  • 2 min read

“Heart-breaking” levels of nurses “very, very stressful”

  • Matt Farrah
    Co-Founder, Niche Jobs

A recent NT survey makes for a poor reflection on staffing levels but the NHS Confederation say that more nurses aren't the answer.

A recent Nursing Times survey of 600 readers has found that opinions surrounding nursing levels to be – frankly - depressing.

Staffing levels are thought to be poor and imbalanced by those that actually work on the wards doing the job: the nurses.

Over half of those surveyed feel their ward or unit is ‘dangerously understaffed’ with nearly another half claiming their general medical ward staff numbers consisted of at least half HCAS, if not more.

85% saw nurses expected to care for at least 8 patients on general wards and 44% were expected to take care of 10 or more.

A further 76% had witnessed poor care within the last 12 months – understandable, we all have days where we make mistakes. But, more worryingly, almost a third said they saw it happen regularly.

On Sunday, Jenni Middleton of the Nursing Times spoke to Radio Five Live on the subject to remind us that no-one in the industry is complacent about this issue: "If you've gone into that job to care and to look after people and to not be able to do that is heartbreaking and very, very stressful because you feel you're incapable of doing what you've been trained to do because you don't have the resources to back you up,".

The head of the NHS Confederation, Mike Farrar, argues that the problems lie elsewhere than the actual staffing levels. In his opinion, more appropriate staffing patterns, recruitment “based more on staff values” (what does that mean?!), better training for ward leaders and more caring organisations are the key criteria.

He also argued that senior clinicians and managers needed to be ”empowered” to take greater responsibility for high standards of care, again citing staffing patterns as a central theme to be tackled.

Essentially, Mike Farrar is saying that we have enough nurses, but that they aren’t timetabled as well as they could be: does that match up with your experience?

Let us know what you think on Facebook, with a tweet or on Google+ - we’d love to hear your experiences!

About the author

  • Matt Farrah
    Co-Founder, Niche Jobs

I'm fascinated by the career choices we all make. It speaks about who we are. People choose to become a nurse or work in medicine or care for one of two reasons. One: simply, they always wanted to be a nurse or social worker or doctor. Two: even more simply, they want a job which helps people. In our blogs I want to explore these career choices: the ones that put other people first.

See all of our RGN jobs

5685 jobs currently available

Search Jobs

  • Matt Farrah
    Co-Founder, Niche Jobs

About the author

  • Matt Farrah
    Co-Founder, Niche Jobs

I'm fascinated by the career choices we all make. It speaks about who we are. People choose to become a nurse or work in medicine or care for one of two reasons. One: simply, they always wanted to be a nurse or social worker or doctor. Two: even more simply, they want a job which helps people. In our blogs I want to explore these career choices: the ones that put other people first.