The Royal College of Nursing has indicated that its members believed that conditions in the NHS are currently the worst that they have ever experienced.
This clearly meshes with the experience of doctors, as 50 leading individuals in the profession have penned an open letter to the Prime Minister warning that lives are currently being put at risk due to mounting pressures.
Janet Davies, chief executive at the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), indicated that frontline of nurses have been consulted on the NHS environment.
And they told her that they had been instructed to discharge them before they were fit just to free up beds.
One sister in charge of a major treatment centre in accident and emergency, told the RCN: “At one point our treatment area, meant for 20 patients, had 56 patients crowded in corridors and around the nursing station. Our resuscitation room built for six regularly had seven.”
A raft of charities that work with the elderly have also indicated that long-term solutions are requisite, and this opinion has been echoed by a group of Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat MPs.
Meanwhile a letter from the Royal College of Physicians (RCP), called for urgent investment to help “over-full hospitals with too few qualified staff”.
Speaking to the BBC, Prof Jane Dacre, president of the RCP, stated that members of the organisation that she leads have painted an extremely worrying picture of the current NHS climate.
“Our members tell me it is the worst it has ever been in terms of patients coming in during a 24-hour period and numbers of patients coming in when there are no beds to put them in. And there are patients within the hospital who can no longer get home because of the difficulties there are in placing people in social care. Our members fear that patients’ lives are at risk because they can’t get round to see patients who aren’t in the emergency and accident department or are waiting for results to come back.”
Responding to the accusations of the nursing organisation, a spokesman outlined the measures currently being taken by the government.
“We recognise the pressures of an ageing population which is why we recently announced almost £900m of additional funding for adult social care over the next two years. But as the prime minister has made clear, this is not solely about money. That is why we are working to find a long-term, sustainable solution which helps local authorities learn from each other to raise standards across the whole system.”
A Department of Health spokesman also noted the investment in nursing that has already been made during the existing Parliament.
“Since just last year, we have 3,100 more nurses and 1,600 more doctors. We’re also joining up health and social care for the first time and investing £10bn to fund the NHS’s own plan to transform services and relieve pressure on hospitals.”
Nonetheless, with numerous pieces of credible evidence all suggesting that the NHS is under serious pressure, it is clear that the government needs to act decisively.