Rising concerns over the understaffed Accident and Emergency department at the NHS has surfaced ahead of the upcoming winter.
NHS staff have been growing more and more nervous ahead of, what is said to be, a very harsh season. The unprepared NHS is pointing the finger at the Conservative Party cutting down funding.
Much of the blame is falling on Prime Minister David Cameron for reorganising the entire facility, and in the process destroying the functionality of the A&E services.
The department is lacking a number of things such as senior A&E doctors, nurses and other hospital staff necessary to safely see all the patients that are expected to visit during the winter months.
In addition, a number of services have been erased and wards are overcrowded already.
Graduate of the College of Emergency Medicine, Bernadette Garrihy, said, “We’re getting ready for what may be the worst winter yet. When we have severe weather on the way, increased incidences of respiratory tract infections, things like vomiting bugs, we know this puts our departments under huge pressure.”
Dr Andy Burnham, the Shadow Health Secretary, said, “It is going to be more depleted as a service and I hold David Cameron directly responsible for that. Staff are anxious about how they are going to provide safe care. This is a crisis of David Cameron’s own making and the root cause is the reorganisation that threw the system into chaos.”
In attempt to avert a pending crisis, healthcare staff are being offered more money in addition to their overtime. Great Western Hospitals Foundation, the trust that set this scheme in motion, is feebly attempting to correct the problem.
They continued to explain that this is only a trial run in order to encourage existing staff to work over their required hours.
Many are critical of this scheme. The CEO of the Patients Association, Kathrine Murphy, explained that the trusts are avoiding the root of the problem and are attempting to deflect blame.
She added, “NHS trusts need to take responsibility for the crisis in staffing that we are facing – and that means recruiting staff to fill the posts, not bribing those that they have to take on more shifts. It is truly desperate, as well as being a terrible use of NHS resources.”
This is causing another problem for the current staff, a large number of shifts are being covered by temporary staff who are getting paid much more than permanent staff.
Agency nurses are being paid over five times the amount that a nurse on the pay roll is currently receiving.
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