News ID: 234819
Published: 1148 GMT November 26, 2018

Most doctors fear hospitals won't cope this winter

Most doctors fear hospitals won't cope this winter
SERGIO AZENHA/ALAMY

More than half of doctors fear that their hospital will be unable to cope this winter, according to a poll which also found fewer than a third had been involved in any planning for the coming months.

The Royal College of Physicians said that if staff were concerned that “the wheels could fall off at any moment”, it would lead to increased pressure and low morale, according to The Guardian.

Almost six in 10 doctors reported feeling ‘very worried’ or ‘worried’ about the ability of their hospital to deliver safe patient care over the winter period. The poll, conducted by the RCP, found that only 17 percent of respondents were ‘confident’ or ‘very confident’ about preparations.

A total of 1,761 UK foundation doctors, trainees, consultants and speciality and associate specialist (SAS) doctors responded to the poll.

The government announced last month that it was set to inject an emergency £240 million into the social care system to ease pressure on the NHS this winter, and stave off a crisis.

But of those responding to the poll, 96.2 percent said they did not know how that money would be used to reduce the pressure on their hospital. Just 67 respondents said they knew how emergency funding for social care would be used to reduce the pressure on their hospitals, from providing beds in the community to employing more careers.

Professor Andre Goddard, president of the Royal College of Physicians, said: “We know the government and NHS are doing much more to plan for winter than they were prior to 2017/18. But these findings show it is still not filtering down to staff on the wards, who need to feel confident that plans are in place to deal with the inevitable increase in demand, so they can get on with the job of providing direct clinical care”.

   
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