October 3 – As many as one in 20 nurses believes they could face redundancy within the next year, according to a shock survey published today. And even more nurses expect their personal finances to be put under pressure by reduced hours or down-banding, according to the Royal College of Nursing. The scale of the threatened redundancies, revealed at the outset of the Conservative Party conference, will come as a shock to a government which says it is maintaining NHS funding.
Nearly 8,000 nurses took part in the survey, including about 2,000 in the private sector. The RCN said the survey showed nurses face an increasing workload – with many having to work with reduced staffing levels. As many as 40 per cent reported recruitment freezes as managers try to meet the government’s savings targets.
RCN chief executive Dr Peter Carter said: “We know the Government wants to protect services but nurses are wilting under the strain of longer working hours, taking on the burden on unfilled vacancies and reduced staffing levels. All these short term measures are likely to leave patient with longer waiting times, poor care and a worse NHS.
“It is absolutely critical that trusts make sure they have the right numbers and balance of staff to deal with this.”