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NHS ON THE BRINK: Doctors struggling with rising demand and ageing population

DOCTORS are struggling to cope with rising demand, an ageing population and rock bottom morale as the NHS is pushed to its limit, a damning new survey reveals. Research by the Royal College of Physicians has laid bare a system in chaos with 64 per cent of doctors believing patient safety has deteriorated over the past year.Experts from across the NHS agree with the findings, saying that without urgent investment patient safety is at risk.More than 1,500 doctors across England, Wales and Northern Ireland responded to a survey suggesting the crisis in care has reached its nadir.Responses to the RCP NHS Reality Check Update 2018 show 84 per cent think the workforce is demoralised while 47 per cent say they administered lower-quality care over the past year – 10 per cent higher than last yearEight in 10 are worried about the ability of the NHS to deliver safe patient care in the next 12 months.One doctor responding to the survey said: “Staff simply cannot deliver what is expected of them under current circumstances. We are not robots. We are human beings with limits.“I cried on my drive home because I am so frustrated and distraught at the substandard care we are delivering.”

Professor Jane Dacre, President of the RCP, said: “It is extremely worrying and depressing that our doctors have experienced an even worse winter than last year, particularly when so much effort was put into forward planning and cancelling elective procedures to enable us to cope better.“We simply cannot go through this again – it is not as if the situation was either new or unexpected. As the NHS reaches 70, our patients deserve better. “Somehow, we need to move faster towards a better resourced, adequately staffed NHS during 2018 or it will happen again.”The RCP has tabled a series of recommendations including making the UK more accessible and attractive to doctors from other countries and called on the Government to relax visa restrictions for the healthcare workforce.It also wants funding for health and social care to match growing patient need and has demanded more investment in public health initiatives in an effort to reduce that need.The findings come a week after latest performance data showed just 76.9 per cent on patients in major emergency departments are seen within four hours while bed occupancy last month stood at 95 per cent.Original Source

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