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Hospital staff shortages behind thousands of deaths a year

22nd January 2013

Researchers have warned health service staff shortages could contribute to thousands of patient deaths annually in hospitals in the UK.

Corridor

A team from Imperial College London and the University of Southampton reviewed the records of nearly 70 million patients who had surgery between 1997-2007. 

They found patients had a nearly 10% higher likelihood of dying if fewer staff were on duty.

The researchers worked out the number of patients who died after they had surgery from complications such as pneumonia and blood clots, which need to be detected and treated early.

The study, which was published in the International Journal of Nursing Research, said 28,000 deaths annually in the NHS could potentially be prevented.

It found patients had a 9% higher likelihood of dying if there were "fewer doctors than average" on duty and 8% more likely to die if there were "fewer nurses than average".

Lead researcher Professor Peter Griffiths said: "The suspicion is that poor care is a very plausible explanation in a lot of these cases. If a hospital responds with the best possible care, the consequences of that complication should be less. If you do not have enough staff, they cannot provide good care." 

 

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Comments

Anonymous

Saturday 13th April 2013 @ 11:10

it is sad, but yet so true, medical staff shortage is a fundamental problem affecting all nations internationally,if you are working on less staff than average, there are sure to be aftermaths, the saddest thing is our family members are the ones that are suffering, but cant we think of ways to bridge this gap, i believe it can be done, nobody has to be compromised. THERE ARE A LOT OF NURSES OUT THERE WHO IF GIVEN A CHANCE COULD REPLACE OR ADD UP TO THE NUMBER OF DOCTORS, CANT WE FIND A PROGRAMME THAT CAN ALLOW NURSES TO BE TRAINED NOT THE WHOLE SIX YEARS, BUT AT LEAST 3 YEARS AND BE USED WHERE THERE ARE SHORTAGES. Another problem is that there are nurses who are unemployed still but you wonder why are they not been hired and trained in the various skills that are in lack, i mean i am a nurse manager by qualification but cannot be hired because of lack of experience, but how am i supposed to gain experience while i am qualified but not allowed to use my qualification, maybe that is one area that should be looked at.


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