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NHS survey – what inpatients really think about nurses

Almost four in ten hospital patients say there are not enough nurses on duty – survey.
nurse at patient's bedside

Almost four in ten hospital inpatients believe there are not always enough nurses on duty to care for them, a survey reveals.

The annual adult inpatient survey (2016) published by England's healthcare regulator the Care Quality Commission, revealed that of the 78,000 patients who took part, 61% felt there were always or nearly always enough nurses. Almost 30% said there were enough only sometimes and 10% believed there were rarely or ever enough nurses on duty.

The percentage of patients who replied always or nearly always was down from 62% in the 2015 survey.

Patients' confidence in nurses showed slight improvement 80% in 2016, up from 79% in 2015.

Other findings included:

  • 70% of patients said they

Almost four in ten hospital inpatients believe there are not always enough nurses on duty to care for them, a survey reveals.


The CQC survey shows most patients feel confidence in nurses Photo: Alamy

The annual adult inpatient survey (2016) published by England's healthcare regulator the Care Quality Commission, revealed that of the 78,000 patients who took part, 61% felt there were always or nearly always enough nurses. Almost 30% said there were enough only sometimes and 10% believed there were rarely or ever enough nurses on duty.

The percentage of patients who replied ‘always’ or ‘nearly always’ was down from 62% in the 2015 survey.

Patients' confidence in nurses showed slight improvement – 80% in 2016, up from 79% in 2015.

Other findings included:

  • 70% of patients said they always understood nurses' answers to important questions (down from 71% in 2015).
  • 83% said that they did not feel ignored by nurses talking in front of them (an improvement from 82% in 2015).
  • 48% believed doctors or nurses gave relatives or carers all the information needed to help care for them (down from 49% in 2015).
  • 62% of respondents felt hospital staff took their family or domestic situation into account when planning discharge (the same figure as 2015).
  • For the first, time patients were asked whether they knew which nurse was in charge of their care – 49% said ‘always’, 31% ‘sometimes’ and 19% replied 'no'.
  • Also for the first time, patients were asked if they received enough help from staff to wash or keep themselves clean – 72% answered ‘always’, 20% said ‘sometimes’ and 8% answered ‘no’.

Patients with mental health conditions, long-term physical conditions, diseases of the nervous system, diseases of the skin and subcutaneous tissue and patients with infectious and parasitic diseases all reported poorer experience with nurses and doctors than other groups.

Younger patients also reported having less confidence and trust in hospital staff.

Patients who had the most confidence and trust tended to be older (aged 66-80 or over 80), identifying as Christian, and without long-term physical or mental health conditions.


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