- 11 June 2019
- 6 min read
The NHS Nursing Crisis - Take part in our survey
The Government and the NHS are tackling a profound shortage of Nurses. We want to know what Nurses themselves think. Have officials got the right plan to recruit Nurses and retain them? And how is the situation impacting your duties as a Nurse, and you as a person?
Read our review of the current staffing crisis in Nursing below, and then tell us what you think.
It’s a National Emergency
Staff shortages in the NHS have reached critical levels.
Last September official figures shared by the BBC called it a ‘National Emergency’.
In the last 7 days alone most of the major UK news outlets have run alarming headlines:
• “Can the NHS get all the Nurses it needs?”
• “No chance of training enough staff”
• “Ministers urged to up the pace of mental health staff recruitment”
• “Cuts may leave NHS short of 70,000 Nurses”
And here on nurses.co.uk, we have been doing the same.
We think it’s high time that Nurses themselves have a say.
Take part in our survey and tell us what you think.
The survey takes 4 minutes (yes, we timed it).
Do health officials have the right plan to take on the perfect storm?
Posts unfilled; Nurses leaving the profession; NHS Nurses looking outside the public sector for more flexible hours and better pay; ongoing Brexit drama affecting incoming EU expertise; EU nationals returning due to uncertainty; trainee Nurses put off by costs of studying the requisite degree…
It feels like a perfect storm.
Do you think that Nursing officials have the right plan to tackle our recruitment and retention crises?
Student Nurse Bursary
In England, the student Nurse bursary (fees and grants) were scrapped under George Osborne. Numbers of new trainee Nurses went into decline and haven’t recovered.
The official line shows no sign of reviewing this, despite urgent attempts by the RCN for them to do so.
A Department of Health spokesman recently claimed a commitment to training, but stopped short of the subject of re-introducing bursaries: “We’re committed to recruiting and retaining Nurses – part of our plan to transform mental health provision with an additional £2.3bn a year investment as set out in the NHS Long Term Plan.
“We’re supporting students to embark on more flexible undergraduate degrees in mental health or learning disability training with an ambition of an extra 4,000 people in training in five years’ time.”
What’s your view on the bursary for Student Nurses - should it be re-introduced to help recruitment?
Government and NHS officials can’t be blamed for Brexit!
But the ongoing upheaval created by the indecision over leaving the EU has lead to increased challenges on staffing levels.
EU Nurses are leaving forcing some hospitals to temporarily close.
And the usual recruitment processes are under threat, creating friction and severe hiring challenges, according to the Financial Times (pay wall).
Following the recession in 2008, Nursing pay faced a squeeze.
In the five years to 2015, standard Nursing wages increased by just 2.2% - out of sync with inflation.
Then, between 2015 and 2017, a 1% increase was implemented each year. Things took a turn for the better last year with the ‘New Pay Deal’.
But Nursing remains a vocation that, some feel, is underpaid.
Do you feel The New Pay Deal is one jigsaw piece that WILL help with recruitment and retention?
How is the staffing crisis affecting patients?
The headlines certainly make sobering reading.
Of course, this isn’t just about Nurses. It’s about the public.
They will not receive the service levels expected if a solution to recruitment and retention isn’t achieved. It imperils the immediate demands (waiting times) and long-term strategy ambitions of the NHS and Government.
Waiting time increases
A well known measurement of care success is waiting times.
With too few Nurses (and other medical professionals) patients are forced to wait longer for treatment.
The NHS Long Term Plan could be under threat
The Government’s much-heralded NHS Long Term Plan came under immediate criticism.
The National Audit Office questioned the plan’s aims if staffing shortages aren’t resolved.
The service the NHS offers to patients is harmed by a staffing crisis.
What is the human impact on Nurses themselves - on YOU
The impacts on the public are well reported.
But what are the hidden impacts on service providers, medical staff, Nurses…. The actual people working in Hospital and Community Care: You?
Multiple challenges face the Nursing community, none more so than in Mental Health where numbers of RMNs have dropped by over 10% since 2009.
A survey we ran and multiple articles posted here on nurses.co.uk by RMNs talk about the pressures and stresses put on Mental Health Nurses.
These are compounded when a ward is short of full-time, qualified nursing staff.
But it isn’t just in Mental Health.
Adult, Learning Disability, Children’s Nurses - all impacted, all stretched. Is that how you feel?
Does the shortage of colleagues on wards make Nurses feel more stressed?
And would you say that feeling undervalued is a likely contributor to retention challenges facing the NHS?
Join our survey to throw a light on how this impacts your working life and well-being generally.
Share with other Nurses, and we’ll report on our findings and share them back to you all.
What will you be asked in our survey?
We won’t go into all the details, but the survey will ask you simple questions.
It’s mostly multiple choice so that it’s quick and easy.
And only 10 quick questions (and we mean quick!)
It’s all anonymous. We don’t even take your name. We’re looking for aggregate feedback so the response is anonymised from the start.
As this is specifically about the view of NHS Nurses, we do only want NHS Nurses to take part!
(We’ll continue to do surveys for everyone else again after this one!)
It takes just 4 minutes (max) - we timed it.
Thanks very much and we can’t wait to find out what you all have to say!