Two in every three nurses admit to either skipping meals or using payday loans just to feed their own families.
In a joint survey of nearly 6,000 nurses undertaken earlier this year by NursingNotes and Nurses United UK, we found that a massive 70% of nurses admitted to either skipping meals (48%) or using payday loan services (34%) just to be able to make ends meet.
The figure worsened amongst BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) nurses and all healthcare assistants rising to an astonishing 74%.
One in ten nurses (11%) also said they had accessed a food bank in the past twelve months.
They almost unanimously called upon MPs to take urgent action to tackle pay and workforce conditions across the nursing profession.
In the survey, one nurse simply said, “I survive using food banks for my three children and fear what will happen to us in the winter months”.
Another explained, “Both my husband and myself are nurses. Due to the below inflation pay awards over the last 10 years, we have struggled financially for a long time now, having to pay bills, mortgage and support our children.
“We have been juggling finances with several maxed-out overdrafts and credit cards for some years now, but we have come to a point where we can not juggle anymore as the cost of living far outweighs anything we earn and owe, despite a most frugal lifestyle.
Before concluding, “As this is set to get much worse we are worried we will lose our home… We are not living, we are merely existing. It is unacceptable that as a professional with a university qualification in a demanding job where we are saving life’s we are being so under valued and treated with disrespect by the government.”
Health unions have been calling for a 5% above inflation restorative pay rise since last year.