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TUC: 7 in 10 NHS staff say funding squeeze puts the quality of patient care at risk

7 in 10 (69%) NHS workers say that reductions in staffing and resources are putting the quality of patient care and clinical standards at risk, according to a new TUC poll published yesterday (Monday).

The YouGov/TUC poll of 500 NHS workers also reveals their view that:

  • Services are under greater pressure than ever before: 9 in 10 (88%) NHS staff believe the health service is under more pressure now than at any time in their working lives;
  • Resources and staff have been stretched:  Three-quarters (77%) of NHS workers think resources and staffing in the NHS have gone down in the past five years;
  • Patient services are being cut: 6 in 10 (60%) of NHS staff say their employer has cut patient services to make financial savings;
  • The NHS should get the promised £350m extra a week:  8 in 10 (79%) say that Vote Leave’s campaign promise of £350m for the NHS should be kept.

The poll is part of new joint report, NHS: Warnings from All Sides, published today by the TUC and the NHS Support Federation.

The report finds that over the last twelve months there has been an unprecedented wave of organisations flagging up significant concerns about the growing crisis in the NHS. The fifteen groups sounding the alarm include Royal Colleges, trade unions, health experts and the government’s own Mental Health Taskforce.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:

“No-one knows the NHS better than the people who work for it. And the message from health workers is clear – funding pressures are putting patients at risk and damaging services.

“The Autumn Statement is a big opportunity for the Chancellor to provide the funding our health service desperately needs.

“Nearly 80% of NHS staff want the government to keep the promises made to the British public during the referendum, and put the money into our NHS.

“Keeping the NHS running and transforming its services can’t be done on the cheap. The health service needs an immediate funding boost, and a long-term financial plan.”

Director of the NHS Support Federation, Paul Evans, said:

"The NHS is being held together by the commitment of staff and the resilience of patients.

“The resounding message from right across the NHS is that services are being pushed dangerously far. The government must act to properly fund the health service."

The TUC and NHS Support Federation are calling on the government to:

  • Give the NHS an immediate funding boost ;
  • In the medium-term, bring funding into line with the EU-15 average;
  • Lift the pressure to meet unrealistic savings targets which are causing cuts and restrictions to services;
  • Invest in fair pay, improved training, safe staffing ratios and strategies for improving the recruitment, retention, involvement and morale of the NHS workforce.

Notes to Editors:

  • NHS Trusts in England finished last year a record £2.45bn in deficit. One in seven NHS trusts in England are now in special measures.
  • The ONS recently compared healthcare spending as a proportion of GDP, with the UK coming second-to-last: visual.ons.gov.uk/how-does-uk-healthcare-spending-compare-internationally/
  • The full report, NHS: Warnings from All Sides, is here: https://www.tuc.org.uk/sites/default/files/TUC_NHS.pdf
  • All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 510 English NHS workers (16+). Fieldwork was undertaken between 18th - 26th October 2016.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all English NHS workers (aged 16+).
  • All TUC press releases can be found at tuc.org.uk/media
  • TUC Press Office on Twitter: @tucnews

 

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