This site is intended for healthcare professionals only

Staff safety at risk unless nursing shortages are addressed

Written by: | Published:

The pandemic has highlighted dangers The pandemic has highlighted dangers to the nursing workforce

Urgent action to address the shortage of nursing staff across the health and care system is required to prevent harm to staff, the RCN has said.

The organisation has also said that this includes a pay rise for nurses. According to the RCN, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted and increased the pressures facing nursing staff, whether they are in hospitals, care homes, in the community, or across the wider health and care sector.

Nursing is a safety critical industry and while staff have been redeployed or stepped forward from studies or retirement, the staffing situation is untenable with the profession facing severe shortages, with an estimated 50,000 nursing vacancies in the NHS in the UK alone. Fears over health and safety, stress levels and patient complexity have all increased since the start of the pandemic, while staffing levels and the ability to take breaks have worsened.

‘With experienced nursing staff saying they are considering leaving the profession, it is clear that action needs to be taken now to protect the health and wellbeing of nursing staff as well as to build a workforce fit for the future,’ said Susan Masters, RCN Director of Nursing, Policy and Public Affairs.

‘Unless all the governments in the UK act now there is very real risk the health and wellbeing of those who dedicate themselves to the care of others could become terribly damaged.’

The RCN is calling on governments to properly invest in the training of new nurses. The organisation has said that in all countries of the UK, nursing students must have fees abolished and receive a universal living maintenance grant that reflects actual student need. The RCN is also calling for an immediate pay rise for nursing staff in the NHS across the UK that recognises their skills, responsibilities and experience.

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

This material is protected by MA Healthcare Ltd copyright.
See Terms and Conditions.

Comments

I feel very disheartened with the nursing profession we have worked flat out with increased workload throughout lockdown doing extra hours and overtime putting ourselves at risk to look after our patients. We have not even had recognition for what we have done except a weekly clap. Our salary does not reflect our workload and I feel we deserve a pay rise. Carers who are also underpaid all received a one-off monetary payment for their service throughout covid, but trained nurses had nothing and we wonder why people are leaving the profession. although Nursing is a vocation rather than just a job nurses still have bills to pay and lives outside work.
Posted by: ,
Name
 
Email
 
Comments
 

Please view our Terms and Conditions before leaving a comment.

Change the CAPTCHA codeSpeak the CAPTCHA code
 

Most read articles from Practice Nursing Journal

Practice Nursing Journal latest issue and most read articles.

Click here to read a selection of free to access articles from Practice Nursing Journal

Newsletter

Sign up to the newsletter

About

Independent Nurse is the professional resource for primary care and community nurses, providing clinical articles for practice nurses and prescribers.

Newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter and stay up to date with the latest nursing news.

Stay Connected

Stay social with Independent Nurse by following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook or connecting on LinkedIn.

Archive

Need access to some of our older articles? You can view our archive, or alternatively contact us.

Contact Us

MA Healthcare Ltd.
St Jude's Church, Dulwich Road
London, SE24 0PB

Tel: +44 (0)20 7738 5454
Registered in England and Wales No. 01878373

Meet the team

Authors

Find out how to contribute to Independent Nurse here.