Nurses ‘Scared to Raise Concerns’ about Patient Care

March 4, 2013

03 Mar (TELEGRAPH UK) –  Research for the Nursing Times found that an NHS culture of discouraging staff from reporting problems, rather than supporting them, is putting patients at risk.  More than 800 nurses were questioned by the magazine, which revealed a culture of bullying, with staff scared they will be labelled as troublemakers if they highlight concerns about patient care.

Half of nurses who had raised concerns about the NHS said they were not dealt with properly, while a third felt they were likely to face negative consequences or be ignored as a result of raising concerns. The survey revealed that 84% of respondents had previously raised concerns about a colleague’s practice or attitude – of which 23% said they had done so “several times” or “regularly”, and 23% “at least once”.  But of those who had raised concerns, 52% said there had been no appropriate outcome as a result of speaking out and a similar percentage said doing so had led to them suffering negative consequences.

Almost 30% of nurses said being viewed as a troublemaker was the biggest barrier to speaking out, with inaction by managers cited by 23%.  Eight out of 10 nurses said the ability to raise concerns in the NHS could be a lot better.

Nursing Times editor Jenni Middleton said:

 “I have personally spoken to nurses who, having raised concerns, have been sidelined and ostracised by their employers, bullied and marginalised by their colleagues – and end up feeling ashamed and guilty, as well as concerned that their careers are over.”

For more on this article go to Telegraph UK.

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