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Fall in error reporting 'main concern' from NHS staff survey


Pressure on NHS staff has increased but fewer errors have been reported, according to analysis of the results from the latest NHS Staff Survey.

More than 100,000 staff completed the survey between mid-September and mid-December 2012.

The “main area of concern” is a fall in the number of staff reporting errors, near misses and incidents when witnessing them, according to an assessment of the results by the NHS Commissioning Board, which was drawn up for the government.

It noted the proportion of staff who witnessed errors, near misses, or incidents remained the same at 32% in 2011 and 2012. But the number of incidents reported fell from 96% in 2011 to 90% in 2012.

Other concerns highlighted by the commissioning board were more staff reporting working extra unpaid hours – 70% in 2012 compared to 65% in 2011 – and the number of staff suffering work related stress, up from 30% to 38%.

“These results are most likely due to the combined pressure of implementing major change while making financial savings,” the board warned.

Two-thirds of staff said that if a friend or relative needed treatment they would be happy with the standard of care provided by their organisation – a similar level as 2011 and 2010.

The proportion of staff who would recommend their organisation as a place to work increased for the first time in three years – 55% in 2012, compared to 51% in 2011, 53% in 2010 and 55% in 2009.


Readers' comments (9)

  • We were informed by our line manager to stop completing incident forms as the number being forwarded were taking up too much of their time. They ordered us to go directly to them with any concerns.

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  • perhaps it's because, as proven by the Francis Report, incident reports are put in the rubbish bin. perhaps it's because the 'no blame' culture doesn't exist for most staff, perhaps people are afraid to own up to a mistake because they know they will be 'named and shamed' or made an example of even though they were being honest and acting in everyones best interests when they self-reported.

    how did we all survive in the days before incident reporting? 20 years ago if you made a drug error you were given support and re-training if needed, you owned up and learnt from it - nowadays if you make a drug error you are 'named and shamed', gossips tell how useless you are, you learn nothing from it and you are made to feel absolutely awful, you may find yourself under investigation. No-one would take into account your lack of knowledge, support, ward based training, workload, stress levels - it will all just be because you are useless.

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  • with such rapid increases of drugs and procedures nobody can be expected to know it all and nobody does!

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  • Keep filling in those incident forms. The manager (above) who said they should not be done is totally in the wrong and and incident form should be done about it.
    The on-line forms are more difficult to complete, and they are still ignored by line managers, but at least the Trust has it logged as they have to report summaries (don't know about FT's though)

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  • what proof do you have that an incident report has been received? even if you take a photocopy (are you allowed to do that) how can you guarantee that it will be read. Can you add a letter asking for a reply or receipt?

    If you speak to your line manager about a concern can you ask for it to be taped or have a third impartial person present?

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    Brian Goldman on reporting and supporting errors

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  • nurses are too busy pickingpatients up off the floor to complete incident reports

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  • never picked a patient up off the floor, have completed many incident reports though - don't know what happened to them or what the outcome was, no-one ever tells us anything.

    anon 7.14pm - have you ever picked a patient up off the floor or ever seen anyone else do it?

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  • all we read about is nurses making drug errors. What about doctors who make prescription errors, pharmacists who don't pick them up.

    are we expected to report everything? if so, is that realistic.

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