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Lack of hospital staff cited in patient deaths

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10:27 CEST+02:00
Overcrowding at Swedish hospitals has been cited as the possible cause for five patient deaths this year, with a lack of temporary staff to blame, according to a new study.

The study was carried out by the Swedish Association of Health Professionals (Vårdförbundet) and based on responses gathered at 21 of the association's local branches.

Three out of every four nurses interviewed responded that the lack of temporary summer staff has been a threat to patient safety.

“Nurses who have taken extra shifts during the holiday period have handed in their notice in September because they can't manage any longer. It's unacceptable,” said Sineva Riberio, head of the association in a statement, according to the TT news agency.

Two thirds of the association's local units report that they have had a considerable lack of specialist nurses and nurses during the summer. There has also been a lack of midwives and biomedical analysts.

The lack of staff on the ward has put an increased strain on those working, with the number of sick days rising and with newly graduated nurses not receiving a sufficient introduction to the workplace.

Staff at the local branches has noticed during the summer that the working environment has become worse, too.

On-site injury numbers have risen and telephone queues and waiting times have become longer, according to the research.

TT/The Local/og

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