Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Nurses 'unhappy' over patient care


Most nurses working in Scotland are unhappy with the quality of patient care - and many believe inadequate staffing levels are to blame, according to new research.

Some 54% of nurses are prevented from providing patient care with dignity to a standard they are happy with, according to the poll for the Royal College of Nursing (RCN).

And three-quarters (76%) of nurses who were unhappy with standards in dignified patient care said they believed this was because there were not enough staff.

Other reasons cited included not enough time (72%) and physical environment of the workplace (28%).

The survey was published to coincide with the launch of Nursing Scotland’s Future, RCN Scotland’s campaign to get the next Scottish government to improve health services and patient care.

RCN Scotland director Theresa Fyffe said: “Over half of our members are unable to deliver care with dignity for patients to a standard they are happy with.

“Given that many health boards have pretty much stopped recruiting when nursing staff leave, it is extremely concerning that so many of our members say that there aren’t enough staff to allow them to provide dignified care. If health boards continue with their recruitment freeze, this problem will only get worse.”

RCN Scotland member Lisa Falconer added: “People become nurses because they want to make a difference by improving patients’ lives and providing high standards of care. However, many nurses feel prevented from delivering care to the standards they would like and this is particularly upsetting when it impacts on patient dignity.

“I believe that the next Scottish government needs to ensure that we have enough nursing staff to allow proper dignified care in Scotland’s hospitals and communities.”

A Scottish government spokeswoman said: “We have made clear to all health boards that patient care must be at the centre of their future service delivery and workforce needs.

“We have also given a guarantee that there will be no compulsory redundancies. By the end of this parliamentary session there will be more staff working in the NHS than there were at the start of it.”


Readers' comments (9)

  • Talk about stating the bloody obvious!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • "By the end of this parliamentary session there will be more staff working in the NHS than there were at the start of it.”

    What they aren't telling you that those staff will be admin, clerical and bloody middle managers and directors. Not qualified clinical staff!!!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Cant agree more with Mike. I work in a busy surgical ward. Our staff numbers have been cut twice in recent years. It started with taking away a nursing auxillary on nights Friday Saturday and Sunday.Taking the numbers down to 2 trained and 1 untrained. They have now taken them away the whole week. The workload has not decreased, it just means the patients have to wait much longer for things to be done.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • we have worked on 2 trained and 1 untrained for years - sometimes 1 and 1 is all that is available.
    The problem we also have is that the government nuber crunshers call aux/HCA nurses - and so brag about increases - but in effect thwy have diluted the skil mix and patients do not actually recieve care from a nurse at all. If the term nurse was protected to those on the register - we would have had evidence they could not deny.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • In the end its always the patient that suffers. They shouldnt have to care what staff numbers we have in the ward. I would like to see one member of the govenment as a pstient in one of our wards and see how pushed the staff are. Management have to take some of the flack too, when Nichola Sturgeon was visiting our hospital we had staff coming out of our ears!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I feel the same, its the patient that suffers. I have been qualified for 20 months now and I wanted to be a nurse so I could care for patients, however this is not the case its all about targets and money. The government is a joke its always the public sector that suffer with pay freeze and pension cuts!!!!!! Lets face it band 5 nurse pay is a joke I work a 12 hour shift with one a hour break. Whats happened to health and safety. Its a joke!!!!!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I work in community where a number of qualified posts have gone over the years.

    The managers spout that the number of qualified staff is the same - it isn't and my colleague and I argued that we could, indeed, name the people who hadn't been replaced, but no, evidently the managers are right and we are wrong and they report to the board and local councillors that the numbers haven't changed!! We have spoken up, but it is ignored.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I totally agree with the comments above and yes we have too many people who are not front line, but i am afraid we also have too many people who do not like to roll up there sleeves and get mucked in, having been in the NHS for many years I have seen changes over the years that would have some of my old sisters turning in there graves, when i started no one would think of not doing a job, now i hear so often thats not my job. I have stepped into many wards recently and see nurses sitting at the nurses station, hardly run off there feet, now i agree this is not all the time or all the staff, but we need to stop blaming others and fighting for our profession, which means working together, sticking together and stop blaming others for the problems we have made.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • just what we need - lots of highly paid non-clinical management staff all tripping over each others' feet with the left hand having absolutely no idea what the right hand is doing, without knowing who is really in charge, and with a small bunch of helpless doctors, nurses, patients and other healthcare professionals sandwiched in the middle! Perhaps when the whole system fails and collapses there may follow a period of enlightenment and inspiration about what resources are realistically needed and what other measures are required to provide British citizens with the healthservices they merit, are their right, and pay for through their own dedication, hard work, faith or taxes.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.

Related Jobs