NHS staff have been working flat-out since the start of the pandemic.
Throwing money at equipment is “not enough” to fix the problem the NHS currently faces, nurses have warned today.
It comes as Chancellor Rishi Sunak is set to announce an extra £5.9bn for the NHS in this week’s autumn budget.
The money will be used to help clear the record backlog of people waiting for tests and scans and to buy equipment and digital services. However, there has been no sign of a cash injection for NHS staff themselves despite working flat-out since the start of the pandemic.
Healthcare leaders have welcomed the injection of money, but have warned that staffing shortages need to be fixed before it will have any impact.
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has previously warned that nursing staff are already exhausted and now face the worst winter in NHS history.
Last month, there were over 2 million visits to A&E departments in England, the highest number in any September since current records began.
A recent NursingNotes survey of 2,300 registered nurses reveals a massive 58% are planning on leaving the sector in the next three years, up from 34% two years ago.
Jane, a registered nurse from London, responded to the announcement; “It is simply not enough – without enough staff extra equipment is essentially useless. We need sustained investment in safe minimum staffing levels, development, and wellbeing”.
There are currently around 40,000 registered nursing vacancies across the NHS in England alone.
Carol Popplestone, RCN Council Chair, added: “Nursing is a safety-critical profession and with tens of thousands of vacancies there simply isn’t the workforce to ensure people can deliver safe care for patients.
“The pressure services are under is already unsustainable and heading in one clear direction. The Chancellor has a chance to lead and pull both patients and professionals back from the brink of disaster.”
Nothing but buzzwords and soundbites.
Nurses United UK have echoed the sentiment. In a statement lead organiser Anthony Johnson said; “This is such nonsense. I’m bored of the buzzwords and soundbites and so are the public.
“Do we think more CT scans are going to happen without the staff to carry them out? There’s nothing in this policy to try to fix how unsafe our NHS is now.
“Pay is over a fifth lower than it was in 2010, staff’s mental health is shattered and we are heading into winter with nothing being done to halt the crisis sweeping towards us.
This Government need to listen to frontline staff and not their donors and communications team