‘Corridor nursing’ unfair for both patients and staff

You may have seen reports this morning that patients are increasingly spending hours on hospital corridors waiting for a bed, with seven in ten nurses saying that they are having to treat patients in undesignated treatment areas on a daily basis.

The issue

When drilling down deeper into these reports, which are based on a survey of its members by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), the true figure is higher, as 73% of the nurses polled said they have had to look after patients in a “non-designated area”, such as corridors, on a  daily basis. In addition, 90% of those polled said that they feared patient safety was being put at risk by people in need of hospital care having to spend time in areas which don’t have medical equipment or call bells.

What we think

We would argue that such conditions increase the chance of patients suffering medical negligence. Patients stuck in waiting in corridors for a bed have a higher chance of dying as well.

This is not simply unacceptable and unfair on patients, it is also deeply unfair on the staff working in these hospitals. While we at The Medical Negligence Experts exist to support the patients and help them to receive compensation when they have suffered physically, mentally and financially due to medical negligence, we are not blind to the pressures, unrealistic expectations and deteriorating working environments that medical professionals have increasingly been working under in recent years. It is working under these kinds of pressure that is arguably leading to doctors being at a greater risk of burning out as well.

As such, we can envisage a future where medical professionals who have been subject to medical negligence investigations begin to take action against their employers or maybe even the Government for requiring them to work in unsustainable working conditions where they need to attend to an ever-increasing and unrealistic number of patients which has, in turn, caused them to make a mistake or deliver treatment that falls below the acceptable standard that has led to them facing allegations of medical negligence.

Furthermore, you may remember that, at the start of the week, we wrote a blog post which highlighted a story that raised the concern that a supposed two-tier social care system is looking ever likely due to under-funding, which, in turn, has meant that the level of bed-blocking within NHS hospitals is beginning to rise. As part of this article, we highlighted research that shows the difference in life expectancy between those who live in the least and most deprived areas of the country. The day after, the BBC then reported updated figures that showed this difference in life expectancy depending upon where you live in the country, as well as your gender, is starting to further deepen. Additionally, another report out this morning from the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists (CSP) and the Royal College of Occupational Therapists shows that those in need of rehabilitation after a heart attack or stroke or ongoing therapy due to conditions like multiple sclerosis (MS) face a postcode lottery that can significantly affect their recovery and quality of life.

Clearly then, healthcare in this country needs to improve and we would strongly encourage the Government to look at its healthcare policies and implement positive changes as quickly as possible.

How we can help

While we sympathise with the staff at NHS hospitals that are having to work in such unacceptable conditions and are under such unsustainable demands, instances of medical negligence cannot be accepted under any circumstances and, when they take place, those affected should be compensated for the physical, emotional and financial harm they have suffered.

At The Medical Negligence Experts, we and the specialist law firms we work with are experienced at handling instances of medical negligence and so, are well-placed to help you receive the maximum amount of compensation possible if you suffered negligent medical care.

If you or a family member have been a victim of medical negligence and would like to know if you may have a claim, don’t hesitate to contact us via the form on our homepage or by calling 0161 413 8761.