What can be done to reduce pressure?
The 2018 update to NHS Reality Check: Delivering care under pressure says doctors are still struggling against rising demand and the impact of an ageing population with increasingly complex medical needs.
They are also battling to keep morale high when the NHS is ‘underfunded, under-doctored and overstretched’, says the report by the Royal College of Physicians.
Staff who have benefited from some of the best medical education in the world are not able to deliver the standard of care they have been trained to deliver.
The report revealed 84% of doctors questioned believed the workforce is demoralised. And 93% had experienced staff shortages, a rise of 9% since last year.
The data showed 64% of doctors believed patient safety had deteriorated over the past year, 10% more than last year, and 47% said care had been lower quality over the past year, also up 10%. And 80% were worried about the ability of their service to provide safe care in the next 12 months.
The report said funding for health and social care must match growing patient need and called for more investment in public health initiatives.
It recommended relaxing visa restrictions for healthcare workers. And said the government, NHS organisations, royal colleges, professions, higher education institutions and others must work together to make sure the NHS has the resources and workforce it needs.
Its recommendations to retain NHS doctors included improving morale by reducing pressure and ensuring a medical career is attractive and fulfilling.
Royal College of Physicians: NHS reality check: Update 2018
Guardian: Patient safety getting worse, say two-thirds of NHS doctors