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Low morale is a greater risk to the NHS than the budget

10 June 2016

Low morale is a greater risk to the NHS than the budget

Nigel Edwards, chief executive of the Nuffield Trust think tank said that low levels of staff, disagreements with officials and bullying is creating a “toxic mix”.

Because of these factors NHS officials are concerned that the staff will eventually lose any affinity for the business.
These warnings come from a growing tension between the employees and the ministers.

Over the past year the NHS has seen a number of strikes by junior doctors and nurses protesting over plants to discard the bursaries they are given while studying. Nigel Edwards explains that this dissatisfaction comes at a time where there were inevitable shortages, with only 31% of respondents saying there was enough staff for them to do their jobs properly.

A manager said that there is a “creeping sense of inevitability and acceptance that failure will happen at some point".

Mr Edwards said the upkeep and sympathy of health workers was supported by a "psychological" contract and that last month it was revealed NHS trusts had overspent by a record £2.45bn in 2015-16.

He added that "Once the psychological contract with staff is broken, it may be impossible to reverse,"

Siva Anandaciva, of NHS Providers, said "This is a pivotal time for the NHS, with extreme financial and capacity challenges putting extra pressure on staff,"

"Perhaps inevitably, staff morale can take a battering."

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