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Record number of nurses apply for financial assistance

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Over 700 nurses applied for hardship grants Over 700 nurses applied for hardship grants

The highest number of nursing staff applied for grants from the RCN Foundation hardship fund in 2016.

Over 700 nurses and healthcare assistants applied for grants from the Foundation, worth an average of £500. One in four grants were awarded to nursing staff earning a full time salary to cope with the cost of food, travel, rent and mortgage payments. For comparison, the Foundation donated more than £250,000 in 2016, compared to £56,000 in 2006.

‘It is a sad indictment that a growing number of nursing staff require financial assistance, even those on full time salaries, simply to cover everyday costs,’ said Janet Davies, RCN chief executive. ‘Too many are struggling to make ends meet, with some taking on second jobs or even turning to foodbanks.’

The RCN is calling on the government to lift the public sector pay cap introduced, which has caused nurse pay to fall in real-terms. The organisation has urged the government to allow a pay rise beyond the current 1% restriction, stating that unless nursing pay reflects the increase in cost of living, the NHS will struggle to retain and recruit staff.

‘In Wednesday’s Budget, the Government must offer nurses and health care assistants a pay increase that keeps pace with the cost of living and not another real-terms cut,’ added Ms Davies.

What do you think? Leave a comment below or tweet your views to @IndyNurseMag

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'well Nurses are always taking the fall. Workload ever increasing, and not getting a decent wage.
1% is too much for nursing staff according to the government. That is the state of things for nurses.
it's a shame staff are being treated this way.
'it must be 'good will that staff are working on these days.'
Posted by: ,
I have been a registered nurse for 20 years, the last 10 of those as a Practice Nurse.
I am a single parent and as such my income is supplemented with tax credits.
Even with this, I struggle to make ends meet all the time. Some weeks I don't have enough money for food or fuel. I have even rung in sick at work because I can't afford the petrol to get there.
It is not a question of not being able to is simply not earning a decent wage to maintain a basic standard of living. I would earn more money cash in hand as a cleaner! I am totally demoralised and seriously contemplating leaving the nursing profession as I am sick and tired of it.
Posted by: ,
Well from when I started training 1967 until I retired in 2014 nurses pay has been disgraceful in the U.K. Nurses do not expect to be wealthy but due to the responsibility of the work deserve a wage to reflect this and to be comfortably off. Awful to hear this report :((
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