Are hospitals ready for a catastrophe?

International research suggests the answer is probably no

High numbers of burnt-out doctors and nurses could force hospitals to shut down following a major incident, simply because staff are too stressed to deal with the fallout, say UK researchers.

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Their study of hospitals around the world found that the capacity of healthcare staff to deal with catastrophic events such as natural disasters or terrorist acts is severely limited by a high workload and challenging targets which result in high levels of psychological stress.

The findings also suggest that burnout leaves many people demotivated and detached from their jobs.&nbsp

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