The results of the 2018 NHS staff survey have been published and staff errors “that could have hurt patients” is at a five year high.
The survey results stated that almost 28% of the almost half a million respondents reported seeing an error, near miss or incident in the last month that could have hurt patients / service users, close to a 3 percentage point increase compared to 2017.
58% of NHS staff reported that the NHS treats staff who are involved in an error, near miss or incident fairly, leaving 42% who did not feel that NHS staff involved in an error, near miss or incident is being treated fairly.
The staff survey also reported that almost 40% of NHS staff reported feeling unwell as a result of work-related stress which was also the highest rate in five years. The survey also found that increasing numbers of doctors, nurses and other healthcare personnel were working unpaid overtime and were thinking about quitting.
The NHS Staff survey is showing a worrying situation for staff who appear to be overworked, underpaid and (perhaps as a result) seeing a steady increase in clinical errors. The problem is further compounded by the fact that only a slight majority of respondents reported feeling supported and treated fairly by the NHS when they have been involved in clinical errors or near misses.
Fortunately, clinical errors and near misses are rare but they do unfortunately happen and when they do, NHS staff must have the best representation when facing any Fitness to Practise investigations or hearings.
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