Crisis in the hospital: the FHF points to a lack of caregivers in almost all health establishments

“Almost all establishments are experiencing difficulties in recruiting” nurses and caregivers “permanently or on an ad hoc basis”, according to a survey carried out by the French Hospital Federation.

“Almost all establishments are experiencing difficulties in recruiting” nurses and caregivers “on a permanent or ad hoc basis”, according to a survey carried out by the French Hospital Federation (FHF)which emphasizes that the emergency remains “the nurses and the night”.

“Combined with high absenteeism, these recruitment difficulties weigh heavily on the dynamism of the establishments”, alert the authors of the survey of which AFP became aware on Wednesday. “A difficult summer is looming in particular in terms of the management of unscheduled care”, they recall.

Nurses, “first priority in recruitment”

The survey, conducted in April and May 2022 among more than 400 public health and medico-social establishments, bringing together more than 380,000 non-medical professionals, reveals that 80.3% of them constantly encounter difficulties, 18.9% on an ad hoc basis. i.e. 99% of all establishments (public hospitals and nursing homes)

It is in hospitals, excluding CHUs, that the situation in terms of non-medical human resources “has deteriorated the most”, with in particular a doubling of unfilled nursing positions (6.6% in April 2022 against 3% in 2019).

If nurses “remain the first priority in terms of recruitment” in hospitals, nursing homes, they mainly lack caregivers.

Geriatrics remains by far the sector that struggles the most to attract staff, followed by operating theatres, medicine (non-specialised services) and then psychiatry. Unsurprisingly, the authors also point out that “the night seems to be the most complex period to organize”.

An increase in staff deemed insufficient

According to the FHF, the workforce “increased on average by +3% between 2019 and 2021” in public establishments, but this “did not make it possible to reduce the proportion of vacant positions in the nursing and nursing assistant professions” , due in particular to the increase in the demand for care.

Absenteeism is stabilizing at a “historically high” level. According to the survey, in 2021, as in 2020, it came close to 10% (against 9% in 2019 and 7.4% in 2012) and it “weakens the daily functioning of teams”.

High absenteeism and difficulty in recruiting reduce “the catch-up capacity” of deprogrammed care during the Covid epidemic, warns the FHF. “Agents suspended for non-vaccination” represent only 0.3% of the staff and therefore cannot be considered as “a breeding ground”, she notes.

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