Shortage of NHS nurses 'affects standard of care': Royal College blames unfilled posts and low pay for poor morale
Two-thirds of nurses believe that staffing levels in their workplaces are too low to give patients adequate care and attention. Most say managers are ready to discuss complaints about nursing shortages, but appear powerless to remedy them.
More than half report unfilled nursing vacancies on their wards, with the South-east and Wales suffering the worst shortages.
A survey of 2,000 members of the profession, published on the eve of the annual conference of the Royal College of Nursing, which starts today in Harrogate, found that the majority felt demoralised and frustrated and struggled to make ends meet. They wanted counselling to combat stress and help them find better jobs.
Half the nurses surveyed by the Royal College of Nursing and Nursing Standard were the main breadwinners in their households, possibly reflecting the continuing effects of the recession. Four out of five nurses described the current 1.5 per cent public sector pay limit as unreasonable, with those in Scotland and the north-east of England likely to be the most dissatisfied.
But traditional perceptions of nursing as one of the most secure professions are changing. Three-quarters of nurses felt less secure in their jobs than they did a year ago.
Fewer than one in five respondents said he or she would recommend nursing as a career, although two-thirds hoped they would still be working in the NHS in two years' time.
Christine Hancock, the general secretary of the RCN, said the survey showed that managers either did not understand the value of qualified nurses, or were hamstrung by shortages of funds.
The extent of unfilled vacancies revealed in the survey supported evidence that growing numbers of young nurses were being 'trained for the dole', she said. 'The impact of staff cuts on the wards is patients not being moved as often as they should be, with higher risks of pressure sores, and not giving patients enough information about their treatment.
'Healthcare managers must realise that filling vacant nursing posts is cost-effective. Investing in qualified nursing care means that patients get better faster.'
The RCN conference is likely to hear severe criticism of NHS funding and the changing roles of nurses and midwives in the new managed market of health services. The NHS trust hospitals are increasingly anxious to employ nursing staff more flexibly, and on shorter contracts. But there are fears among professionals that employing fewer highly trained and specialised staff in favour of more 'multi-skilled' nursing staff could lower professional standards.
Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift
Like Madonna, Sister Cristina Scuccia's video is also set in Venice
Singer says the track was 'force-fed down people's throats'
techThe original free dating app will remain the same, developers say
Endangered species spotted in a creek in the Qinling mountains
Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets
Some experiencing postnatal depression don't realise there is a problem. What can be done?
- 2 Banksy arrest hoax: Internet duped by fake online report claiming artist's identity has been revealed
- 3 Drink alcohol and eat meat to improve male fertility - but cut down on coffee, studies suggest
Ukraine crisis: Donetsk 'tactical missile' explosion at factory sends blast wave across rebel-held city
Jack the Ripper: Scientist who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
Oscar de la Renta dead: Legendary US fashion designer dies after long cancer battle aged 82
Banksy arrest hoax: Internet duped by fake online report claiming artist's identity has been revealed
Super-sized ships arrive in Britain: How big can they get?
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
Lord Freud: Tory welfare minister apologises after saying disabled people are 'not worth’ the minimum wage
Lord Freud hangs on as MPs of all parties 'call for his head' over disability comments
£23000 - £26000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: Level 3 Nursery NurseI am currently...
£21000 - £34000 per annum + Excellent rates of pay, CPD, Support : Randstad Ed...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: Level 3 Nursery nurse required for ...