Registered nurses are the backbone of the NHS.
Registered nurses are the backbone of the NHS. But they’re taken for granted by the Government. Perhaps this is because Ministers know they’ll always put the interests of their patients above themselves. Nurses are rarely moved to militancy. They’ve endured a painful pay cap for more than 5 years with little complaint and been offered a largely sham wage increase.
- 1 in every 11 NHS medical staff post is an unfilled vacancy – most are nurses. That’s a 100,000 workforce shortage!
- There’s been a 96% reduction in EU nationals joining the UK nurses’ register since the Brexit referendum and more foreign nurses are leaving. This may not solely be caused by the anti-migrant atmosphere generated by the referendum, but it may also be caused by the Government’s declared ‘hostile’ migration environment.
- The Government’s abolition of student nurse bursaries is reducing intake at one end as severe understaffing, unsafe working conditions, stress, long and anti-social hours and the unforgiving blame culture of perpetual risk of litigation combine to squeeze nurse numbers and chocking recruitment.
- Of course it’s good news to have new nursing assistants, but they are there to support, not to replace fully registered nurses, as many suspect the Government secretly intend.
MPs who gleefully promote themselves on social media as ‘nursing champion’ one day only to vote to abolish nurse bursaries the very next should face the same ‘duty of candour’ they’re so keen to impose on the medical professions.
For my part I would like to get back to again lead the campaign for mandated safe registered nurse staffing levels and for a serious improvement in funding for our NHS, so we can support the medical staff we so depend upon.