NHS staff feel that they are sinking under a rising tide of paperwork, bureaucracy and workload pressures, two reports have separately argued.
The Unison union has warned that two-thirds (65%) of NHS workers are seriously thinking about leaving their jobs, with two in five saying they are considering a move beyond healthcare.
Its poll, Undervalued, Overwhelmed, of 10,500 NHS workers, found that the key reasons for this were: low pay (58%); staff shortages (58%); and the changing nature of the NHS (56%).
Four in five (82%) said that their workload had increased, as had their stress levels (79%) and the number of patients they were caring for (62%). As a result, more than one-third (36%) believed the quality of care provided had got worse.
One in five (21%) said their employer was not doing anything about staff shortages, and almost half (49%) reported relying on agency staff.
At the same time, a report by Your Legal Friend has concluded that, on average, medical professionals lose 12 hours to administration a week.
GPs topped the list, spending an average of 14 hours a week on admin.
Almost half (48%) of those polled felt the amount of paperwork had gone up in the past five years.
The British Medical Association (BMA) earlier this year published guidelines designed to help overworked and stressed GPs to manage their workloads better.
The guidance, “Quality first: managing workload to deliver safe patient care”, is intended to provide practical advice to doctors in managing workloads and maintaining patient safety, the BMA said.