Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

‘This government wants nursing on the cheap’


We believe in the power of learning at Nursing Times.

Every article you read from our clinical archive, online or in the pages of this magazine, every learning unit you complete and each event you attend should ensure you learn something that improves your practice and helps you to deliver safe, high-quality care. 

We are passionate about learning because continuing professional development (CPD) underpins your place on the register as a regulated health professional. After all, it is the reason revalidation was introduced last year. However, yet again the government, through Health Education England (HEE), is slashing the budget available to fund CPD for NHS workers

”The government’s austerity has led to it allocating less money to its nursing workforce”

Our story on page 8 reveals that there is a national cut of about 20% this year to ‘workforce development’. The budget has been cut from £104.3m in 2016-17 to £83.49m. It is the second year running we have seen cuts to this budget – amounting to a reduction of around 60% in two years, from £205m in 2015-16 to £83.49m for 2017- 18. While it is HEE’s decision how to allocate its funds, it’s undoubtedly true that the government’s austerity has led to it allocating less money to its nursing workforce.

While Jeremy Hunt waxes lyrical about the need to take on more staff to ease the severe nursing shortage, the government seems to be doing everything it can to lose the NHS talent it already has. Fresh from the ruinous removal of the bursary, which has seen student nurse applications fall off a cliff, the Conservatives continue to fi nd ways to deter people from working in the NHS.

It’s not just individual nurses who suffer – trusts that are struggling to recruit new nurses to fill empty posts will now find it even harder to hold onto the engaged and talented nurses they already have. And let’s not forget that CPD is not just some frivolous incentive – it is about supporting learning that updates practice and improves patient experience, care, outcomes and of course, safety. 

Frankly, the health secretary’s claim that patient safety is his top priority – and his professed desire to ensure the NHS has a culture where mistakes are owned up to and learned from – now seems nothing more than empty words. This government does not want well-educated, experienced and informed health professionals. It wants nursing and care on the cheap. That becomes more obvious every day.


Readers' comments (6)

  • The problem is not Jeremy Hunt because he does not work on the floor with the nurses in the NHS. THE PROBLEMS lie within the nurses of the NHS themselves. They have a culture of harassment, bullying, favouritism, racism and discrimination. Some of them crop up the ladder quickly and so young that they fail to understand the contribution of the nurses who are older and mature than them. They bladder about CPD, revalidation not even having the faintest idea that some of these older nurses carry on their studying but do not advertise them. Some of these young managers when they do their recruitment process, they lack the experiences and fail to pick up transferrable skills as they are so engrossed in on a narrow thinking that they are unable to recruit and retain the right nurses. They are unable to support a nurse from one level to another as they do not have the proper requirements to do such a task. One component of nursing is practice-based as we have to sign a competency document to evidence our practice. But these managers cannot bring out the hidden qualities in those nurses. Reading a CV is a skill in itself and can reveal a lot about a candidate and many of these recruiters do not ask anything written on the CV but go into ready made questions sometimes retrieved from the internet. Using both sources would have given a better result. As long as the NHS will have the culture of ethnic appartenance and conscious discrimination, it will always fail. The history of the NHS workforce has demonstrated it again and again. Some of these young nurses can only boast about being at the top and belittle others, but the truth is that they have been supported by those who share the same characteristics. These are the latter that have turned nursing into a nightmare and this culture will carry on because it has been passed and will continue to be passed over and over. These people want to deprive people of their freedom to think and act. The only thing that is missing in their hands is a whip.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Obeid AlRashoud

    It's so ashamed that we"Nurses"became so cheap and we are all saying the famous stamens "Nurses are the spinal of the hospitals/healthcare" so why we became so cheap? I believe we all nurses must be briefs to stand for our profession practicianers. But we connot be unless we work so hard firstly to respect each other and make sure we do not eat our breeds by disrespect the new graduate also the one been caring all their life.
    Knowledge of patients caring must updated and able to know all the relevant information that is needed to know for each disease, based on the evidence bast practice ,
    Qualifications nowadays it becomes necessary "Bachelors Degree " and more.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Anonymous 12 AUGUST, 2017 2:39 PM - you have analysed it in a nutshell. So true. Thank you.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I was a nurse for 30 years
    some trumped up waster(I can think of worse) reported me to the NMC for a trivial matter. No case to answer after 9 months
    I have now retired in disgust and spend my time doing something rewarding and fulfilling.
    I also dissuade people from taking up nursing. I have talked 12 out of it and will continue to do so.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Was it not Jeremy hunt who said he took his kids to A&E because it was quicker than waiting fro a GP appointment?
    I am disgusted with the way nursing has gone, scruffy nurses, huge fat nurses telling slimmer fold they need to lose weight, obese doctors telling patients their surgery is delayed until they lose weight, lack for privacy and dignity, dirty environment, botched up repairs ... nurses more concerned with their fag breaks that patient care an din mental health, staff sitting in the office all day writing up notes on patients they haven't spoken to all day and modern day matrons that look like scruffy cleaners, but then some cleaners look cleaner and smarter!
    I trained as a nurse and feel ashamed of the shoddy look bunch of staff we have today, yes indeed there are a few very dedicated nurses that work darn hard, but the rest ... they leave me speechless!

    Good old fashioned matrons would never allow Jeremy hunt or the modern NHS management to get away with the crap service we get today.

    Nurses need to look to themselves and ask is this really what they want to do and if they have no compassion, then supermarkets pay better wages!

    Nursing was a vocation, strict rules,clean smart nurses and no nonsense from the likes of hunt and his cronies!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I agree with every word!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.