Over 90% of medical professionals have concerns about the level of treatment patients receive from the National Health Service (NHS), a recent study has revealed.
According to The British Health Report, commissioned by Your Legal Friend, 26% of medical professionals believe that urgent investment into state healthcare is required to prevent standards falling further.
However, the study also revealed that 81% of patients feel that they’re in safe hands in the care of an NHS hospital, indicating a significant disparity in perceptions of the NHS between healthcare professionals and the public.
Of all medical professionals, General Practitioners (GPs) are most likely to have concerns about the state of the NHS, with almost half (45%) responding that the healthcare system is in poor health. A further 28% believe that the NHS is in very poor health and urgent investment is required in order to ensure high standards of care.
However, GPs aren’t the only professionals to voice their concerns. The report shows that 71% of surgeons, 66% of consultants and 54% of specialist doctors believe that the NHS is in poor health. A large amount (63%) of professionals are extremely concerned about the lack of bed space on wards. Over three quarters (77%) of respondents linked the lack of bed space to longer waiting times and unsurprisingly 72% said this has an impact on patient satisfaction.
Surgeons are the most likely to express unease over this issue, with 78% being extremely concerned about the lack of bed space on wards which can impact how quickly people are able to undergo operations. With medical professionals facing so much pressure to care for patients, it’s no surprise that 80% reported feeling stressed and unable to cope with the workload.
The NHS has been subject to radical changes over recent years, impacting both staff and patients alike. Two thirds of medical professionals believe that the recent NHS reforms are responsible for the health service’s demise.
With the 2015 General Election drawing close, the NHS has been thrust under the microscope again in recent months. However, despite all of the main political parties revealing policies in support of the service, the British Health Report has revealed that more than half (56%) of medical professionals in the UK don’t believe that any of the parties best represent the interests of the NHS. 20% said that Labour best represents the NHS, 15% said Conservative and 4% said Liberal Democrats.
Laura Morgan, Director of Medical Negligence at Your Legal Friend commented: “The British Health Report demonstrates that patients have genuine trust in the British healthcare system. Whilst medical professionals may feel they are in a midst of an NHS crisis, they must be commended for providing unwavering care to patients. It’s clear that the majority of the public love the NHS and admire the care it provides to those in need.
“However, the British Health Report does show there are underlying issues that could have a damaging impact on patient care. We call on the Government to listen to medical professionals working at the coal face of medical care and address standards now. Patients have the right to high quality treatment and support yet it is clear that the quality of care that medical professionals can provide is at serious risk. If this is not addressed, for some unfortunate people, it could lead to devastating consequences.”
Although patient satisfaction is currently high, if medical professionals feel unable to meet expectations and provide an acceptable standard of care, it’s just a matter of time before patients start to notice a difference too.
With support and appropriate funding, the government can help to restore healthcare professionals’ faith in the care that they offer to their patients. To read more about Your Legal Friend’s findings, take a look at this year’s British Health Report.