The NHS is not in crisis it is in a critical condition as over worked NHS staff are “displaying extreme emotion” having to speak to 999 callers who are desperately waiting for an ambulance and can hear patients’ health deteriorate.
The Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB) has reported that NHS staff have shockingly revealed that they are worried at “how many people we are going to kill today?”
The HSIB investigation revealed in a survey of A&E staff, paramedics and 999 call handlers that they were to be focused on what went well during the NHS winter crisis.
However, the HSIB found that this changed “as the investigation saw, felt and heard the significant distress” of NHS staff.
The investigation also found that there was “no ambulances available to respond” to more than 100 category 2 calls which are for strokes and heart attacks.
This had therefore affected A&E workers having to be forced to make “challenging decisions” on who to take in for treatment in the emergency rooms.
The HSIB probe found that NHS staff would choose “the most unwell, unwell patient” which had left staff with the “burden of moral distress” leaving many unable to switch off from work.
The investigation had found staff speaking of “isolation and despair at going home to an empty house after a challenging day, without support structures in place.”
The HSIB investigation had concluded, “While staff are trying their very best to ensure safe care, harm is happening and affecting patient outcomes and staff wellbeing.”
An NHS spokesperson said, “There is no doubt staff faced significant challenges this winter. We take staff wellbeing incredibly seriously.”
According to NHS Digital data, analysed by wellbeing and performance experts GoodShape, between April 2021 – March 2022, ambulance Service Trusts across the UK lost the equivalent of 1.2 million working days to staff absences which cost them £239 million.
Alun Baker, CEO GoodShape said, “Our conversations with Ambulance Trust leaders suggest money isn’t the only motivation behind industrial action.
“Healthcare staff bore the brunt of the pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis is taking its toll. Ongoing pressures on ambulance services, compounded by inconsistent staffing patterns and agency replacements are squeezing staff hard, and this is being reflected in wellbeing issues and absence rates.
“NHS leaders need to dig deep and thoroughly review the working conditions of these teams to provide long-term, sustainable solutions – not just offer knee-jerk responses to the crisis in hand.”