NHS ‘losing one tenth of nurses every year’

18 Jan 18

The NHS is losing some 33,000 nurses each year in England, equivalent to one tenth of the total nursing workforce, figures released by NHS Digital to the BBC have shown.

More are now leaving the service than joining and the Royal College of Nursing  accused the government on trying to run the service “on the cheap”.

RCN chief executive Janet Davies said: “Most patient care is given by NHS nurses and, each time the strain ratchets up again, they are the ones who bear the brunt of it.
“We already know there are 40,000 unfilled nurse jobs in England and things continue to head in the wrong direction.”

She added: “There cannot be safe care for patients while the government continues to allow nursing on the cheap.”

Davies called for nurses to be awarded a pay rise above inflation and for an increase in the number of training places.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “Nurses are at the heart of our NHS and that’s why there are 11,700 more on our wards since May 2010.

“We want to keep these hardworking staff in our NHS and also build a workforce fit for the future - that’s why we announced the biggest ever expansion of nurse training places with 5,000 more available from 2018, opened up extra routes into the profession and continue to support nurses to improve work-life balance and work more flexibly.”

Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Baroness Jolly said: ”If the government truly values our nurses, they will scrap the 1% cap on pay rises and solve the underlying problem of critical underfunding in our NHS and social care.”

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