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‘It feels very unsafe’: the NHS staff bracing for winter as cuts loom

Further funding cuts to the NHS will unavoidably endanger patient safety, an NHS leader warned last week after the chancellor’s promise of spending cuts of “eye-watering difficulty”.

Matthew Taylor, the chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said his members were issuing the “starkest warning” about “the huge and growing gulf between what the NHS is being asked to deliver and the funding and capacity it has available”.

The warning came as figures showed that paramedics in England had been unavailable to attend almost one in six incidents in September due to being stuck outside hospitals with patients. Service leaders say wait times for A&E and other care are being exacerbated by an acute lack of nurses, with a record 46,828 nursing roles – more than one in 10 – unfilled across the NHS.

"Patients are presenting more unwell," says a GP from South Wales,

"Wait times in A&E have become unmanageable, so we’re seeing patients who have waited so long to be seen they’re bouncing back to us. Things we can’t deal with, like injuries and chest pain. We tell them they have to go back to A&E.

"Abuse of surgery reception and admin staff began last year and it’s just scaled up from there. We’ve had staff members who have been verbally and physically threatened and we’re struggling to recruit and retain staff – people are hired and quit in a couple days. A lot of people are going off sick with stress."

Five healthcare workers describe the pressures they are facing, including ambulance stacking, rising A&E wait times and difficulties discharging patients.

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Source: The Guardian, 1 November 2022


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