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More nurses seeking help for financial woes

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Many more nurses are struggling to cope with everyday living costs, according to a charity that supports nurses in financial difficulty.

NurseAid, which provides financial assistance to nurses and student nurses in need, revealed pleas for help nearly doubled last year.

Applications soared from about 700 in 2009 to 1,320 in 2010.

The charity, which gives grants of up £1,000, said the record increase was due to the tough economic climate, increased cost of living and uncertainty over future careers.

In 2010 it awarded £486,000 in total to nurses in financial need.

The charity – previously known as the Edith Cavell Fund for Nurses – said it expected the trend to continue.

In January this year the number of requests for financial assistance had tripled compared to the same period last year with a record number of 151 applications.

NurseAid’s welfare services manager Jean Hayes said nurses asked for financial help for a variety of reasons.

She said: “One thing that’s coming up time and time again is assistance with daily living expenses.

“It may be they’ve a period of illness. If you’re off with something like breast cancer for six months you go down to half pay and it can be a struggle to cope, especially as you’re no longer getting extras like over-time. “

The charity, which also supports retired nurses and healthcare assistants, hands out one-off payments but may also top-up weekly income for a limited time.

The Royal College of Nursing, which runs a welfare hotline for nurses, has also seen an increase in calls over the last year.

A college spokeswoman said: “We certainly are experiencing increased volume in calls and a lot of members are a lot more anxious about finances.”

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Readers' comments (1)

  • I think this is a fantastic charity and cannot believe I've never heard of it before! Nurses' are always the first to offer help to others but we rarely let others help us. Well done NurseAid!

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