healthcarecrewMost healthcare professionals believe that the quality of NHS patient care has worsened over the past 18 months according to a new survey of 1171 GPs, Nurses and Practice Managers.

The findings, published by Cogora in the Primary Concerns 2014 report, represent a dramatic decline in healthcare professionals' perception of the quality of NHS care. Nearly two-thirds (63%) of respondents in the 2014 survey believed that it had deteriorated in the preceding 18 months, compared with only 35% of respondents in Primary Concerns 2013

Study lead Victoria Vaughan said: "The fact that the majority of the respondents believe that care has worsened in the last 18 months is truly shocking and upsetting for both professionals and patients.

"General practices are facing unprecedented pressures from all angles and it is clearly making it difficult for them to carry out their chief function which is to care for patients."

The new report also revealed a lack of support for 'clinical commissioning groups' (CCGs), which were introduced by the government two years ago. English GPs and Nurses neither feel engaged with their CCGs, nor perceive CCG decisions to be reflective of their own views.

It also found opposition from healthcare professionals to a number of new government proposals, including:
- the naming of GPs who fail to refer suspected cancer patients to hospital;
- giving the Care Quality Commission power to place GP practices who underperform under 'special care'; and
- the co-location of GP facilities in hospital A&E departments, with over half of all GPs believing it would be the 'final straw' for already overworked practitioners.

For the second year in a row, the Primary Concerns report further describes a widespread morale problem among primary healthcare workers.

In addition to factors related to the NHS such as bureaucracy, low salaries, and poor management, healthcare professionals also cited undeserved criticism from politicians and the media and unrealistic patient demand as reasons for their low morale.

To read the report in full go to: