‘Broken’ nurses fear being dragged into court by NHS patients | British News
As the Royal College of Nursing has revealed, nurses fear being taken to court over the quality of patient care.
General Secretary Pat Cullen said the “gloomy picture” was coming across the NHS as the union ramped up pressure on the government to meet its “double-digit” wage demands.
More than 500 specialist A&E nurses shared their experiences of overcrowded hospitals with the RCN ahead of its annual congress in Brighton today.
Self-described as “broken” and feeling “suicidal”, some nurses have criticized the “degrading” need to treat patients in hallways.
Nine out of ten expressed concerns about unsafe care and harm to patient dignity, privacy and confidentiality.
And six in 10 fear they will be removed from the care register or face legal action against them by patients.
One emergency room nurse said, “Caring for patients in the hallways destroys staff morale.”
“When you walk into the department and you see 15 to 20 people queuing every day, you lose all hope that it will be a good shift.”
“We take care of the patients as best we can, but something happens every day.” I’ve handled almost every situation I can imagine while in line.
“We had to put call bells and casualty buzzers in after people went into cardiac arrest in a corridor.” Pad changes are required for incontinent patients, but there is no space or privacy to change pads.
“Patients and their families can sometimes be physically or verbally aggressive towards us because they rightly fear and dismay at the environment in which they are being treated. Some are then arrested by the security service or taken away.” There are delays in taking the medication. The list goes on.
“Having to look after patients like this makes you feel like a terrible nurse.” Unfortunately, I’ve become desensitized to it, having been involved with it for so long.
“But if nothing is done, we will continue to lose excellent nurses who are stretched to the limit.”
According to the RCN, nurses and doctors are unable to discharge patients due to a lack of community care.
The bed capacity is also classified as dangerous.
Ms Cullen said, “Patients being served through emergency rooms are a clear sign that a health and care system is coming to a standstill.” A corridor is not a place to die, nor is it a place to work.
“If ministers fail to get this situation under control, they are allowing patients to pay a high price and leaving nurses to work in fear and disabled.”
“Governments urgently need to plan and invest to reverse this new trend.”
“Our members have told us that they are so concerned about a threat to patient safety that they fear a lawsuit may be brought against them.”
“While any decision related to a court case takes into account the special pressures a nurse faces, these fears are a testament to how unsafe conditions have become.”
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