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Nurses are quitting the NHS for Lidl due to better pay and conditions

Research suggests that the NHS is short of 42,855 nurses, 11,187 doctors and 12,219 healthcare support workers.

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Nurses are leaving the NHS seeking better pay and work-life balance.

Despite a shortage of 40,000 nurses in England, nurses are reportedly leaving the profession in search of a better lifestyle.

Research undertaken in 2017 suggests that the NHS is short of 42,855 nurses, 11,187 doctors and 12,219 healthcare support workers with those leaving the NHS citing their reasons as; real-terms pay cuts, low morale, chronic understaffing, uncertainty over Brexit and a poor work-life balance.

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Despite ministerial pledges to boost the workforce, official figures have failed to rise.

According to Indeed, the low-cost supermarket pays a graduate manager an average salary of £36,842 per year while a newly qualified nurse starts on just £23,023.

‘My morale was so low, I couldn’t take it anymore’.

A former nurse, who wished to remain anonymous, told the TheLondonEconomic; “Since I was a child I wanted to be a nurse and help care for people. I went straight into nursing from school. I knew it wasn’t the best-paid career, but I thought it would be worthwhile and I’d be making a difference.

“Sadly, it got to the point where my morale was so low, I couldn’t take it anymore.

“Lots of my colleagues were leaving the profession, going home or joining nursing companies. There weren’t enough nurses on the ward, so we couldn’t do our jobs very well. Patients would just complain at us all day because they weren’t getting the attention they needed.

“Everything’s going up and it’s harder and harder to make ends meet. We’re never able to treat ourselves or go on holiday. Everything I buy for my daughter is second hand including her school uniform.

“A new Lidl opened up near the end of my road so I applied and got the job. It means I don’t need to drive to work anymore, where I was even charged for parking.

“The best thing is my hours are a lot more sociable. Pay is around the same level, but I get ten percent off my shopping and I’ve sold my car, which saves a lot of money. Overall I’m slightly better off, but I have much, much less stress”

Nurses are spread too thinly.

Janet Davies, Chief Executive and General Secretary of the Royal College of Nursing has previously said on the issue; “Nurses are spread too thinly and starting to blow the whistle on falling standards. Hospital wards and care homes alike increasingly rely on unregistered healthcare assistants, especially at night. 

“The NHS has never been busier and yet it is haemorrhaging experienced nurses quicker than it can find new ones. A lethal cocktail of pressure inside the NHS and falling pay has left people heading for the door. The NHS advertises for nurses but, too often, new uniforms stay in the box.

“It is time to draw a line under this false economy with a new law and investment in nurse education. We need legislation that makes Ministers and others accountable for proper workforce planning and safe and effective staffing levels.”

Workforce

Nursing vacancies hit record high leaving patient care at risk

It can be “dangerous” when there aren’t enough nurses to provide care.

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Patient Falls Risk with IV

There are now a record 43,671 empty nursing posts in the NHS in England alone.

NHS figures show that there are now a record 43,671 empty nursing posts in the NHS in England alone, according to the Royal College of Nursing (RCN).

The College says a global shortage of nurses alongside the removal of the nursing bursary has compounded this figure which now sees 12% of posts through the NHS in England without a full-time Registered Nurse.

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Figures from the University and College Admissions Service (UCAS) show a 29% overall decline in applications to undergraduate courses since 2015, when the bursary was cut by the Government.

In a report released today titled ‘Standing up for patient and public safety’, the Royal College of Nursing outlines the evidence of the need for a new law that allocates specific legal responsibilities for workforce planning and supply.

A new law is needed.

The report states that in order to address the record number of vacancies, and the gap between the numbers of health and care staff needed to deliver patient care vs. how many are in the system.

Figures included in the report reveal that the number of nursing staff has consistently failed to keep up with the dramatic rise in demand for services and the number of emergency admissions.

The report finally makes a further call for legal clarity on the roles, responsibilities, as well as accountabilities, for workforce planning and supply.

In September, after pressure from RCN members, NHS England and NHS Improvement asked the Government for clarity over who is accountable for the nursing workforce.

‘Nurses are working harder than ever’.

Dame Donna Kinnair, Chief Executive and General Secretary of the Royal College of Nursing said: “Nurses are working harder than ever to deliver safe patient care but are being held back by a system that is legally lacking teeth. Despite the public, patients and nurses all agreeing that clarity is needed on responsibilities for delivering enough nurses, we have yet to see any government pledge anything of the like, and as a result are staring down the barrel at a record 43k empty nursing posts.

“We know how dangerous it can be when there aren’t enough nurses to provide care, but at present, almost all accountability rests with the frontline nurse working on the understaffed ward, rather than those responsible for the system they work in.

“We believe the time has come for change and that patient care was future-proofed by law, and that from the government down, decision makers are held to account.

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NHS calls for clarity on who is accountable for the nursing workforce

Figures suggest there are around 40,000 unfilled nursing vacancies throughout the NHS in England.

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Working nurses in the CCU

Healthcare leaders are calling for legislation to be included in the forthcoming Queen’s Speech.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have called on the Government to clarify who is accountable for the nursing workforce and the chronic problems it’s currently facing.

Following ongoing pressure from nursing unions, the two organisations met today and recommend that the government should “revisit with partners whether national responsibilities and duties in relation to workforce functions are sufficiently clear.”

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With around 40,000 unfilled nursing vacancies in the NHS in England and thousands more throughout social care, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) believes the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care should be legally accountable for the workforce.

Along with other health care leaders, Dame Donna Kinnair, Chief Executive & General Secretary of the RCN, written to the Government calling for the legislation proposed by NHS England and NHS Improvement to be included in the forthcoming Queen’s Speech.

Staff shortages have reached ‘alarming levels’.

Responding to the news, Dame Donna Kinnair said: “We are pleased that NHS England and NHS Improvement has recognised the concerns of RCN members and the public and has stated that the issue of accountability for workforce planning and supply remains an area that needs be resolved.”

“In the week after we have launched a major public facing campaign calling for investment in the nursing workforce as well as for accountability to be clarified in the law, yet again, the case is made for this to be taken seriously.

“We are clear that government is well placed to determine how accountability can be clarified in law.

Adding; “Staff shortages have reached alarming levels with at least 40,000 vacant registered nurse posts in the NHS in England alone with thousands more vacancies in public health and social care.

“We now hope government will listen to this message, as well as the voices of the thousands of members that responded to the NHS England engagement process, and bring forward this legislation, taking the opportunity to include accountability in government and throughout the health and care system, for workforce planning and supply.”

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