Healthcare staff ‘doing jobs of two’ as cuts bite, survey claims

HEALTHCARE workers are becoming increasingly stretched as cuts take their toll, a survey claims today.

The poll of 2,000 employees found nearly one in three doctors, nurses and other health staff feel they are performing the job of two people.

In contrast, workers in other sectors feel their roles are the equivalent of 1.3 employees.

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One in six workers admit to making mistakes at work because of tiredness or stress, while one in 10 say they have been unable to take a holiday this summer due to work pressure.

The research carried out by specialist recruiter Randstad found a third of healthcare staff felt their role needed one full-time staff member, plus a part-timer. Some 28 per cent said their role needed two full-time staff.

Vicky Short, operations director at Randstad Care, said: “It’s clear that public austerity measures are exerting more and more pressure on local authorities and the NHS to keep their workforces as lean as possible.

“Healthcare professionals are facing greater workloads and reduced capacity as funding restraints are causing job cuts.

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“While this will help many employers navigate the squeeze on funding, it isn’t sustainable.

“Spreading the workforce too thin leads to burnout, mistakes and lower productivity in the long run.

“It’s vital that heavier work burdens for healthcare professionals do not lead to the erosion of the quality of service provision.”

The survey found one in four workers felt more stressed now than six months ago, half said it took longer to switch off at the weekend than previously and one in nine were suffering from disrupted sleep.

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One in nine employees said they checked emails or calls while they were on holiday.

Vicky Short added: “Being able to take a break and switch off from work is vital for productivity, but this year the holiday season has stretched the healthcare sector to the limit.

“Balancing staff costs and the risks of a burnt out workforce and maintaining quality standards is difficult at the best of times but during August the scales have tipped.”

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