‘Chronic staff shortages’ hitting morale at health trust where PM was treated for Covid

Workers at the London health trust that treated the Prime Minister for coronavirus are suffering plunging morale and concerns about patient safety because of staff shortages, according to a report.

Unite said a survey of its members at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust in London reported understaffing in the unit which was affecting their wellbeing.

The union said its findings were “shocking”, adding that it believed 116 qualified intensive care unit nurses have left in the last seven months and have not all been replaced.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “These results are shocking and very distressing for our NHS members. They are total professionals but these chronic staff shortages mean they struggle to give the care they are dedicated to, so morale plummets.

“Alarm bells have to start ringing across Government and the health service. This must be sorted ahead of the busy winter period because safe staffing is central to proper patient care.”

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “We recognise the vital role nurses have had during the pandemic, and are committed to supporting the workforce to grow as we tackle the backlog.

“There are over 9,900 more nurses in the NHS than this time last year and we will deliver 50,000 more by the end of this parliament.

“We have backed the NHS with an extra £5.4 billion to support the Covid-19 response over the next six months, and we’re investing £37 million towards staff wellbeing.”

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