Union says the real danger to patient care in the NHS is job losses and post freezes

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UNISON has urged the government not to waste time going over old ground, and take the recent Nursing and Midwifery Commission findings as the starting point for boosting care in the NHS.

David Cameron plans to tackle what he describes as the “real problem” of patient care in the NHS by telling nurses to do regular ward rounds and encouraging patients to carry out hospital inspections.

But UNISON has warned that, as high quality care depends on well-resourced and well-staffed hospital wards, job losses and post freezes for NHS staff across the board will be real barriers to boosting standards.

UNISON head of nursing Gail Adams said: “We are calling on the government not to waste time going over old ground, and use the recent Nursing and Midwifery Commission’s findings as its starting point.

“All the research points to higher nurse to patient ratios delivering higher outcomes.  Yet all over the country, nursing posts are being frozen, or even lost. And job losses elsewhere in the health service have a huge knock on effect on frontline care.  As admin workers lose their jobs, it’s clinical staff such as nurses who have to pick up the pieces, filling in forms rather than being on the wards.

“It is a sad fact that only a quarter of nurses would now recommend joining their profession. This collapse in morale – together with the loss of jobs and dedicated NHS staff – will be a real barrier to delivering high quality patient care.”


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