Comment on: 'Agency pay caps expose system-wide problem'
I could not agree more with the comment above that the NHS needs to be more nurse friendly. This is too complex a problem to blame on just poor workforce planning. High numbers of student nurses drop out of their course, huge numbers then leave a year after qualifying. This needs to be addressed urgently, there is no point in increasing the number of training places until you find out why they won't/don't stay.
The NHS does not even provide adequate lockers and staff rooms, nurses are fed up of being disregarded, their managers cancel frequently mandatory training. These are not the actions of an organisation that cares about their staff, the NHS imposes and dictates to nurses and then appear shocked when nurses take control back by leaving to work for an agency. In my organisation the nurse is king, we understand what a valuable resource they are and we try and do everything we can to make them feel valued and rewarded. We have 2 candidate care coordinators, their job is to ensure our nurses have help and support when ever they need it. We understand the value of an engaged and committed workforce.
I know it is a popular statement to sweepingly say all agency nurses are in it for the money but most agency nurses hold substantive NHS posts! The system is broken and a truly honest discussion about the state of the nursing workforce is long overdue. As a ex-nurse I am disappointed at the way my former profession is represented, I see no nurse leaders I would want to follow. I hear no dynamic nurse leaders, challenging the status-quo, daring to think differently.
I have 2 daughters who are both A * students and I have to say with a very heavy heart I would not recommend nursing to them.
Comment on: 'Trusts and universities need more cooperation'
Claire Murdoch, chief executive of Central and North West London FT, said the NHS had taken a battering and needed to explain better the amazing job opportunities with good salaries and career progression it offered. “We have to stop talking about it as if it was tired, broken and demoralised,” she added.
But Ms Murdoch expressed concern over nurse training. “My organisation turns away between 40 and 60 per cent of band five nurses we interview,” she said, because they were not numerate, literate or compassionate enough.“I don’t think we have got the training right.”
The trust put all band five nurses through a day long assessment before they were recruited, she explained. “We won’t lower the bar. You must be numerate and literate.”
Between 40 and 60 per cent of the applicants (predominately drawn from nine universities) did not pass the assessment and were not fit to practise at that point, she said.
Surely we are missing a big point here, it is mandatory training so it has to be provided, when it is not provided there are 2 very negative outcomes. 1. Staff feel neglected, they feel that their organisation doesn't care about their health and welfare and become disengaged. 2. If they for example suffer a back injury and they have not been provided with adequate mandatory training they will rightly make a claim for compensation.
Not really sure why there are anon comments particularly on this subject.
However to Anon 10.51 -
"Student attrition is back on the political agenda in England, with the Chief Executive of Health Education England writing to the Secretary of State for Health citing rates ‘as high as 30 per cent’.
Comment on: 'Training more nurses is only answer to crisis'
I think rather than just increase training numbers an entire honest workforce debate should be had. The number of student nurses who leave the course is currently very high, why? The number of qualified nurses who are leaving the NHS is very high, why? Until we understand the answers we will never be able to come up with a solution that will work. The number of nurses who are due to retire is also alarmingly high and I am not sure an increase of 22% will cover even natural wastage. Until we value the contribution that nurses make we will not recruit the right people in the first place. Unfortunately this is a very simplistic answer to a complex problem that is a direct result of 15 years + of ineffective workforce planning and staff engagement.