Nurses have overwhelmingly said they believe that the NHS is now in a crisis and have cited lack of staff, increased patient numbers and finite resources as reasons why.
In a snapshot social media poll carried out today, 98.2% of nurses told Nursing Times that they believed the NHS was now in a crisis.
Results at the time of writing showed that in contrast, just 1.8% believed the NHS was not in a crisis.
The poll follows comments made earlier this week by the prime minister’s spokesperson, who was accused of being “in denial” about the extent of problems facing the NHS.
During a briefing with journalists, he said that the government is “providing the NHS with the funding it needs”.
However, one respondent to the Nursing Times poll said: “Austerity and deliberate political neglect has caused this situation alongside wage stagnation leading to staff burnout from being emotionally blackmailed because of government failure.
“No more, our patients deserve better and we deserve to be able to afford to live,” they said.
Another respondent said the health care system was “completely overwhelmed at all levels”, noting difficulties in getting GP appointments, ambulance waits and “gridlocked” A&E as factors contributing to the crisis.
Meanwhile, others noted that nursing staff shortages were causing the NHS to be in crisis.
“Standards of nursing care and safety are falling due to lack of staff and increased patient numbers and complexity of care,” one respondent said.
Additionally, one recruiter in the NHS warned they were currently unable to attract permanent staff to roles within the health service.
They said: “I’ve never seen so many vacancies available where they are unable to recruit. Years ago there would be a huge demand.
“The demands of the role have certainly increased, thus encouraging staff to work agency.
When asked for comment in response to our poll, the government directed us to the original comments made by the spokesperson.
They said: “We have been upfront with the public long in advance of this winter that because of the pandemic and the pressures it’s placed in the backlog, that this would be an extremely challenging winter.
“That is what we are seeing and we remain thankful to the frontline NHS and care staff who are providing this level of care to the public in a challenging time.”
Calling UK nursing staff: Do you think the NHS is now in crisis? Please leave a comment to explain your answer
— Nursing Times (@NursingTimes) January 5, 2023