The nursing profession has come under further public scrutiny this week with the broadcast of a Channel 4documentary.
The current affairs series Dispatches was due to broadcast a programme on Monday titled Confessions of a Nurse. The programme looked at the ‘reality’ for nurses working in the health service, and whether patient care was being compromised in NHS hospitals.
A spokesperson for Channel 4 told Nursing Times that while the programme included a case study from Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust it had not been commissioned specifically with this trust in mind.
However, the transmission date had been altered to coincide with the publication of the Healthcare Commission’s report on the trust, the spokesperson said.
The main focus of the programme was a survey showing that almost one in three nurses were being prevented from doing their jobs properly because of long hours and exhaustion.
Commissioned by Channel 4, the YouGov survey of over 1,000 nurses and midwives revealed that 70% felt understaffing prevented them from doing their job properly, and more than half felt permanently exhausted.
The survey also revealed some worrying statistics on patient safety. Almost 60% of the A&E nurses surveyed said they had witnessed situations where patients’ lives had been put in unnecessary danger, and over 80% of midwives said their workload had sometimes been too heavy for them to be able to look after their patients properly.