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Almost half of NHS nurses say their wards are understaffed

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Almost half of NHS nurses say there are not enough of them to do their jobs properly, according to analysis of results from the latest NHS staff survey.

The 2016 NHS staff survey results, published on Tuesday, showed many NHS workers believe the service is understaffed and this affects their ability to provide care.

Out of 409,000 responses to the annual survey, 47% of staff said they either disagreed or strongly disagreed with the statement: “There are enough staff at this organisation for me to do my job properly.” Only 30% agreed or strongly agreed with the same statement.

Among individual staff groups, 46% of registered adult general nurses said there were not enough staff to do their job properly. This was the same figure for allied health professionals

Meanwhile, midwives were the most concerned about staff shortages with 65% saying there were not enough staff, as did 52% of consultants and 42% of junior doctors.

At hospitals trusts, more than half of registered nurses, consultants and midwives said there were not enough staff.

For acutes (192,000 responses), 46% of staff either “disagreed” or “strongly disagreed” with the statement in the survey on having sufficient staff to do their job. The result was similar for mental health trusts (47%) and community trusts (50%).

The acute trusts with the largest percentage of staff disagreeing that they had enough workers were Weston Area Health NHS Trust and Birmingham Women’s NHS Foundation Trust.

Overall, 29 acute and acute specialist trusts had more than 50% of staff disagreeing they had enough staff.

This included Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, where 51% disagreed with the statement, and only 29% agreed or strongly agreed there were enough staff. The trust has previously been praised by the government for its staff engagement and safety initiatives.

Twelve mental health trusts had more than 50% of staff warning of shortages – Humber NHS Foundation Trust was the worst performing with 59% disagreeing with the statement. Among community trusts, Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust was the worst performing with 63% saying there were not enough staff.

Ten worst performing acute and acute specialist trusts against the statement: “There are enough staff at this organisation for me to do my job properly”

  • Weston Are Health NHS Trust – 60% staff disagree or strongly disagree
  • Birmingham Women’s NHS Foundation Trust – 60%
  • The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust – 59%
  • Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust – 58%
  • Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust – 58%
  • North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust – 56%
  • Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust – 55%
  • Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust – 55%
  • Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust – 54%
  • Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust – 54%

Ten best performing acute and acute specialist trusts against the statement: “There are enough staff at this organisation for me to do my job properly”

  • Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust – 30% of staff disagree or strongly disagree
  • St Helens and Knowsley NHS Foundation Trust – 32%
  • Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust – 33%
  • Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust – 37%
  • University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust – 37%
  • Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust – 38%
  • Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust – 38%
  • Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust – 39%
  • University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust – 39%
  • South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust – 39%
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