The NHS crisis is getting worse, says RCP

According to the Royal College of Physicians' (RCP's) new NHS reality check, the NHS is being 'pushed to its limit' in nearly all areas of care.

More than 1,500 doctors in England, Wales and Northern Ireland provided detailed information to the NHS reality check: Update 2018 report, highlighting the difficulties of maintaining staff morale when the NHS is ‘underfunded, underdoctored and overstretched’.

The data also showed that 64 per cent of doctors believe that patient safety has deteriorated over the past year, which is 10 per cent higher than last year, while there was a nine per cent increase in doctors experiencing staff shortages, with 93 per cent reporting this.

Additionally, 84 per cent believe that the workforce is demoralised, 85 per cent cite rising demand for their service over the past year, 47 per cent cite lower-quality care over the past year, 10 per cent higher than last year, while 80 per cent are worried about the ability of their service to deliver safe patient care in the next 12 months.

The college has suggested that the government relax visa restrictions for the healthcare workforce and build on successful schemes such as the Medical Training Initiative, as well as provide more investment in public health initiatives that reduce growing patient need.

Jane Dacre, president of the RCP, said: “It is extremely worrying and depressing that our doctors have experienced an even worse winter than last year, particularly when so much effort was put into forward planning and cancelling elective procedures to enable us to cope better. We simply cannot go through this again – it is not as if the situation was either new or unexpected. As the NHS reaches 70, our patients deserve better – somehow, we need to move faster towards a better resourced, adequately staffed NHS during 2018, or it will happen again.”

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