AN Ayrshire A&E nurse has claimed staff on the front line of local health services are burned out, overworked and facing frequent verbal abuse as the pressure grows on Scotland's struggling NHS.

The unnamed NHS worker hit out on a new online platform - 'Why Would Anyone Do This Job' - that documents some of the most extreme experiences that health and social care workers have faced in the course of their employment.

In a lengthy post on the website, the nurse warned: "Things are getting missed. Communication is poor, people are using the “that’s not my job” as an excuse because they’re burnt out.

"Nursing assistants are expected to do jobs of a staff nurse, and the staff nurses to take the blame if anything goes wrong.

"Junior staff are so unsupported because senior staff are too busy with their own patients managing double the usual work load because again we’re short staffed."

They added:  "I worked hard to get where I am. I am knowledgeable and a good nurse. I love looking after people. I enjoy taking pride in giving good nursing care to patients who appreciate it and are thankful.

"There are still many of them out there, however the bad are starting to outweigh the good and it’s affecting the mental wellbeing of us all."

The post began: "I work in a busy A&E department. I feel the patients are becoming more demanding, e.g: asking to be fed whilst waiting to see a doctor in the waiting area.

"I get that yes, food is a basic human right, but why is that my job as the triage nurse?

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: University Hospital AyrUniversity Hospital Ayr (Image: Charlie Gilmour)

"I have a queue of people to get through, assess and treat. I don’t have 'waitress' written across my forehead.

"There’s also a cafeteria and vending machines close by but the receptionists assume it’s my job.

"Another is 'I haven’t had my medication today' - well, did you bring it with you?

"Patients seem to drop all responsibility for themselves the minute they walk through our doors.

"It’s a seven-hour wait to see a doctor. I think this needs to be put in writing in the waiting room, or a consultant needs to come out and speak to them, which has never happened in the whole time I’ve worked here.

"We are constantly open to verbal abuse, and although I personally haven’t been physically abused, I have colleagues that have.

"I asked a suicidal patient to keep the doors open in the cubicle so we could keep a close eye on them (short staffed meant no one to 1:1 nurse for this patient).

"I explained this is because you are telling us you’re suicidal and we need to keep you safe. I got a mouthful of abuse, was told I was unprofessional and patronizing. So was I just to let them close the doors so they could potentially harm themselves?"

They A&E nurse also revealed: "Senior staff have removed plates and cutlery from our staff room due to failing an audit. This means we’re having to eat our yoghurts with a credit card, or anything you can think of.

"Most of us just bring in our own, but if you’re on to day four, extremely tired and burnt out, you don’t exactly have the energy to prep and plan meals. This has brought staff morale down to its boots."

The nurse added: "Whilst running A&E we are also expected to manage ward level patients. So mid CPR on a patient, got ROSC, set up for intubation, anaesthetics are here, you’re preparing intubation drugs which take two nurses to check etc etc - the patient next to them is complaining because they haven’t had their Laxido today…"

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: University Hospital CrosshouseUniversity Hospital Crosshouse (Image: Charlie Gilmour)

They concluded: "No-one wants to come into this. No-one wants to come to work and be verbally abused by patients and their relatives for something that’s beyond our control.

"I feel this is all very degrading."

Joanne Edwards, NHS Ayrshuire & Arran's director of acute services, said: "Working in the NHS can be challenging, and we have all faced sustained pressures over the last few years.

"To ensure stable, effective and functioning health and care services, it is important that our staff are supported to remain well so they can continue to provide care to our citizens.

"NHS Ayrshire & Arran promotes and strives for a culture of psychological safety, where staff and those who provide services on our behalf, have the confidence to speak up and all voices are heard. 

"We would encourage any member of staff who has concerns about their own staff wellbeing or that of their colleagues to speak to their line manager or one of our organisational ‘Speak up’ advocates."

The 'Why Would Anyone Do This Job' platform has been launched by Feaniks, which provides online training for health and social care organisations and professionals, and which offers a series of courses which it says are 'coming' in September and October.

The site - and the posts people have left on it -can be found at