“Dangerous” medical understaffing in hospitals is so rife that signs of illness are being missed, blood tests delayed and newly qualified doctors left in charge of up to 100 patients.
Chronic shortages of medics are also leading to those with little experience of some types of illness taking responsibility for wards full of medically needy patients, or with complex issues, whose conditions they know little about and do not feel qualified to give proper care to, including in intensive care and stroke and surgical units.
A survey of UK doctors, the results of which have been given to the Observer, reveals widespread concern that gaps in rotas were risking patients’ safety. Doctors said they were left stressed and in tears at being “pressurised” by managers to work more shifts to help hospitals cope with rising demand and said their relationships with patients were suffering.
One trainee surgeon said shortages meant a colleague in his first year of training was the only doctor in charge of more than 100 surgical patients overnight.
Full story in The Guardian 20 August 2016