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NHS could lose 12,000 nurses by 2015, claims Labour


The number of nurses working for the NHS is likely to fall by 12,000 by 2015, research has indicated.

An NHS Check report produced by Labour claims that care of the elderly is at risk, as the number of nursing positions in Britain continues to decrease. The report claims there are now 4,000 fewer nurses employed by the NHS since the coalition government came to power in May 2010.

And this figure is likely to rise to 12,000 leading to staffing issues in hospitals unless action is taken, the analysis claims.

Extra data released as a result of a Freedom of Information request shows 40%`of the positions that have been cut were mainly involved in caring for the elderly in both hospital and community settings. And 20% of the lost jobs were from maternity services, while another 20% were psychiatric nursing roles.

Robert Francis’ report of the problems at Stafford Hospital concluded that staffing levels in the NHS had to be protected to ensure good care for patients. He made recommendations of ways to ensure hospitals have the right level of nursing staff, and Labour called on the government to put these into practice as soon as possible.

Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham said if nursing jobs continued to be cut at the same rate, the losses would reach 12,000 by the next general election in May 2015. He said he was particularly worried that care for older people would suffer as a large proportion of the jobs lost was in this area.

He added: “Ministers promised no cuts to the NHS front-line and, if they don’t step in to reverse this worrying trend, it will be very difficult to implement standard nurse-patient ratios as raised by the Francis Report.”


Readers' comments (18)

  • What it doesn't take into consideration is the fact that loads more than that will leave because of being sick and tired or target chasing, bullies, not being allowed to do their job, increased work loads, worsening working conditions, services being stripped back to nothing, worse pay, no management support............have I missed anything??

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  • "NHS-needs-staff-to-work-harder-says-boss"

    consider yourselves lucky to have a job folks and stop grumbling, or else step down for those who would like one and cannot get one!

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  • "NHS needs staff to work harder, says boss

    It is “inconceivable” that the NHS can continue without making staff work longer hours, have shorter holidays, and possibly be paid less, according to managers who are pushing for regional pay."

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  • "NHS staff need to work harder"- Fantastic words of support and encourgement once again from our supposedly supportive management! I am sorry but when was the last time 'Mr Dowd' or his associates spent a shift on busy acute medical ward or any ward for that matter? Of course staff including myself do not work hard, that is why the already additional hour most of us spend a day at work is from the goodness and kindness of our own heart- or is it that we get paid overtime for the extra time spent caring for patients and are recognised for this?, or the additional time we spend sympathising and supporting relatives not including supporting our already overworked and stressed colleagues. Because of course from personal experience, many other non-hard working staff nurses have such supportivie management which is of course is why we should work extra hours, take a pay cut and have holidays reduced- we work in bliss conditions. I speak for many when I say 'We trained hard experiencing many obstacles personally and professionally on the way to be able to care for the general public and act on their best interests and provide support for those who do not have someone to advocate for them.

    So tell me... Why after 5 years I am nearly ready to leave something I worked extrememly hard for, what I most passionately care about and something I used to think more of than just a career..

    Now that is why 12,000 staff nurses less in 2015 is most definitely an underestimate.

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  • There are already staffing issues, no-one listens to us and the Francis Report seems to have just been a paper exercise. Of course there will be a shortage of nurses - we are retiring, looking for other jobs and no-one in their right mind would come into the profession now.

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  • It is just another cycle. by 2015 there will be a shortage of nurses, HCAs doing their work, standards dropping, hypercritical media reports, disastrous and dangerous patient care, rightful discontent of the public and hey, ho, sudden panic in the DH and among managers and ministers - help what do we need to do to recruit and retain our nurses (where have we gone wrong?), oh, ho, we need to invest more money, lots more money but never mind the tax payers will cough up for that, and send our Human Remains personnel, the remnants of humanity which are all that now remain in our NHS, abroad on recruitment drives - which country should we travel to this time to seek out our victims. oh, yeh, don't forget the NMC still haven't sorted out their foreign registration programme yet and another CEO has just resigned - never mind we can find another and put up the fees again to cover the costs of putting right all of our deficiencies.

    Real nurses will be a very small and exclusive club!

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  • seems flawed management is universal. look at the Vatican?

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  • Anonymous | 1-Mar-2013 6:58 pm

    Keep your bigoted comments to yourself.

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  • Anonymous | 1-Mar-2013 7:35 pm

    Anonymous | 1-Mar-2013 6:58 pm

    please explain what on earth is bigoted about that? it is just an expression of fact of what has already been published in the media and I merely comparing management systems in two very large organisations.

    I am surprised at your remark which could itself be perceived as bigoted.

    debate here is about adding comment!

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  • Anonymous | 1-Mar-2013 8:03 pm

    Feigning innocence isn't adding to the debate. Neither was your original comment.

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