NHS cuts to blame for London’s ‘worst ever nurse shortage’

NHS cuts to blame for London’s ‘worst ever nurse shortage’

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Patient care is at risk as Freedom of Information Requests show a 25% increase in vacant nursing posts in the Capital.

Out of 40,000 nursing vacancies across England, there are a record 12,000 unfilled nursing posts in London alone – a third of all national nurses vacancies.

RCN’s London Regional Director, Bernell Bussue, has warned, ‘An aging workforce, lack of strategic workforce planning, cuts to NHS funding, harsh pay restraint and the failure to guarantee the rights of EU nurses has left London’s care settings more vulnerable than anywhere else in the country to registered nurse shortages.’

RCN are calling for action from the upcoming government, focusing on better pay, enshrining safe staffing levels, and providing employers with necessary resources to employ nurses.

Bussue insists that ‘good patient care relies on having enough nurses’.

FOI figures show that the number of vacant nursing posts in the Capital is now over 12,719, up from 10,140 in 2015.

North Central and East London (18%, 6,886) have the highest rate in vacancies followed by North West London (15.8%, 2,595) and South London (15%, 3,238).

Nationally, the FOI revealed a 14% decrease in community services nursing since May 2010.

Nurses in the mental health and learning disabilities services have seen cuts to posts of 12% and 33% respectively.

Whilst nursing vacancies continue to rise, figures show that NHS trusts planned to use a greater proportion of nursing support staff in 2016, than a year earlier.

by Zeinab Makki

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