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

Thousands of nurses expecting to lose jobs - RCN


Some 15,000 nurses and healthcare assistants expect to be made redundant in the next 12 months, while cuts are impacting on patient care, according to a poll.

One in 20 (5%) of 8,000 staff surveyed said they thought they would lose their job while a further 6% expect reduced hours and 7% think they will be “downbanded” - when a role is re-evaluated and assessed as being of a lower grade.

The employment poll for the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) included more than 6,000 nurses and healthcare assistants working in the NHS.

It found more than half of nurses (54%) reporting lower staffing levels for registered nurses over the last year.

Four out of 10 said they were seeing recruitment freezes with unfilled posts, 19% were seeing job cuts and 13% were witnessing ward or bed closures.

Nurses are also working extra hours according to the survey, with 57% saying they do so every shift or several times a week.

Some 16% work extra time every shift (up from 10% in 2009) and 41% do so several times a week (up from 31%).

More than half of the nurses (52%) said they were now too busy to provide the level of care they would like and 32% said the quality of patient care is going down.

Dr Peter Carter, chief executive the RCN, said: “Nurses are at the heart of all that is good about the NHS and this is yet more evidence that the front line is not being protected.

“It is absolutely critical that trusts make sure they have the right numbers and balance of staff to deal with this.”

The RCN has been analysing job cuts around the country and has discovered that some 40,000 NHS posts are earmarked to be lost.

A Department of Health spokesman said: “We don’t agree with this estimate.

“We we want to work together with the RCN and others to design a new system to ensure that workforce plans and numbers of training places commissioned are based on rigorous analysis and the best professional advice.”

We have a NEW website just for student nurses, with everything from the usual site at a discounted price plus more. Take a look now at and subscribe for just 70p a week.


Readers' comments (26)

  • One word DISGUSTING!!!! if this goes ahead patient care will suffer. The staff that are left will be expected to pick up the pieces and carry on regardless. Ward staff are already stretched to the max as it is, where is this going to end! oh and don't forget our pay is frozen as well!!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I agree louise just wandering if there was any point in me doing my training i qualify in april 2012 what a prospect No Job

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • ok its nurse bashing again, how will to cope when we all walk out.

    What about patient care? I spend 50% of my time doing paperwork

    20% driving around to get to patients and of course do not forget about 10% on training

    so all in all only 20% i spent with patients. We should see 4 a day and get all the paperwork up todate

    so i get in an hour ahead of me time unpaid.............

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • This isn't even mentioning the sneaky way that management push their work onto senior nurses and reduce further their time on patient care - unless of course we [foolishly[ do it in our own time. Audits seem to coming out of our ears!

    It seems for every non clinical post that goes that a proportion of that work will be pushed onto nurses. We seem to be at the bottom of the pecking order with departments like training, HR and payroll demanding more from nurses to make their jobs easier. You wouldn't think that they only exist for our benefit in the first place!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Absolutely got it in one Louise. Disgusting.

    Nursing is becoming an absolute joke now. Strike action will be our last ditch attempt at saving the profession and our careers. If we fail, fall or falter, Nursing is finished.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Hey, maybe I'll become a Tube driver instead, they have a strong union and are in line for a big pay increase! They already earn more than we do!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • We so deserve this. The point is many nurses voted conservative. If you vote for the Tories you are voting for the destruction of the NHS and everything that goes with it, including the nurses.
    For Cameron and Lansley, what is currently happening to nursing jobs is manor from heaven because it will be an excuse to say the NHS isn't working and all the more reason to privatise. I am a great believer in that we get what we deserve.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Anonymous | 3-Oct-2011 9:12 pm oh for crying out loud! Open your eyes! Cuts and privatisation would have happened under Labour too! Individual political preference has nothing to do with this!!! What HAS to do with this is that the Nursing profession is particularly weak and spineless, there to be walked over by anyone and everyone!!! And we need to stand up and fight for ourselves!!!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • This has been coming on for years. We gradually take on more and more responsibility with no extra pay, and all because we fear for our jobs. We are frightened to say no because it looks bad and to help gain promotion. Well there's no promotion now just a down hill slide

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • mike 3 Oct 9.23 pm My eyes are wide open. Yes Labour would have made cuts too, but they would not have privatised to the extent in which the NHS is broken up and fragmented. They would not have given all the power to GPs. I recall working in the NHS internal market in the 1990s, where we had a two tier service (pts with fundholding GPs getting a better service than those with non-fundholding practices). It happens every time the Tories are put in power except this time there going for the jugular, to ensure any changes cannot be reversed.

    The point that you repeatedly make about striking, I agree with, but don't rubbish all comments that don't address or support your cause.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Show 102050results per page

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.