Nurses say they are struggling to keep patients safe

“I have seen excellent nurses leave the NHS in droves – the ones that are left are near breaking point.”

Chloe Dawson
9 July 2018
nurse on hospital ward

A survey has revealed that nurses feel they are struggling to keep their patients safe in the face of Governmental cut-backs.

In a major survey by Nursing Standard and the Sunday Mirror, two-thirds of nurses say that patient care has deteriorated significantly in the past five years.


More than 3,000 nurses, almost half of whom are in senior or managerial roles, gave their feedback in the online survey on the state of the nursing profession and the health service.

Three-quarters of nurses told the Nursing Standard-Sunday Mirror survey that their workplace does not have adequate staff to give patients safe care.

Almost half of respondents said they were under pressure to save money every day in their workplace.

A massive 43% said they were considering quitting the NHS.


Other issues nurses highlighted by the survey were high-stress levels, feeling unfairly paid, and seeing services that were readily available five years ago being rationed today.

Excellence nurses are leaving the NHS in ‘droves’.

One acute trust staff nurse said: “I have seen excellent nurses leave the NHS in droves – the ones that are left are near breaking point.” with another nurse adding: “I am proud of the free-for-all ethos and the standards of care that nurses wish to deliver. However, there are not enough staff or resources to deliver high standards of patient-centred care in the NHS.”

Royal College of Nursing (RCN) general secretary and chief executive Janet Davies said: “This tragic situation could have been avoided. It is the result of many years of short-sighted cost-cutting and ineffective workforce planning. Too many politicians and policymakers are unable to recognise the value of nursing.

“Extra NHS funding in England must begin to turn this around by investing in nursing staff – both with new recruits and by valuing experienced staff to stop the haemorrhaging we’ve seen. This autumn, the RCN will launch a new campaign to demand, for every part of the UK, safe staffing levels and accountability set in law. It will go some way to ending the current situation where patient care is compromised by short staffing.


“It cannot be repeated enough – mortality levels increase when the level of registered nurses falls. Patients can pay the heaviest possible price.”

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