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The big question: what is the likely impact of fewer senior nurses in the health service?


The Royal College of Nursing’s latest Frontline First report has revealed the NHS has nearly 4,000 fewer senior nurses than it did four years ago.

The RCN warned that “reckless” cuts were “draining valuable leadership, experience and specialist knowledge” from the NHS.

It is the latest update from the Frontline First campaign, which was launched in July 2010 to monitor the impact of NHS efficiency savings targets.

The report reveals that hidden within wider nursing workforce trends is a “significant loss” of 3,994 fewer whole-time equivalent (WTE) staff on Agenda for Change bands 7 and 8 – including senior ward sisters, community matrons, clinical nurse specialists and advanced nurse practitioners.

Why is the NHS suffering a drain in senior nurses? What is the likely impact of fewer senior nurses?

Your comments could be published in Nursing Times.


Readers' comments (4)

  • Short sighted management who believe rules and regulations can take the place of experience is the reason behind this. Rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men. The consequence of this is good staff given too much responsibility too soon and burning out. The consequences of this will be felt for a long time. We can't continue with the twin and opposing pressure of cost savings and more beaurocracy.

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  • As a senior member of staff, I gave 110% to my work to improve quality for patients and staff.
    I was praised by everyone for my work, however as an osteo arthritis sufferer who had to have interventional surgery to enable me to be mobile, I was told that I "was a disruption to the service"
    I trained my staff well and they could act up in my absence to provide a seamless service.
    My managers where not interested in a dedicated, experienced member of staff who worked hard (50+ hrs a wk),
    they would rather have an inexperienced pawn with no achievements to run my dept.
    I was bullied and lied to by managers and pushed into leaving by making me suicidal.
    all because they couldn't make a disabled person redundant under the Equality Act.

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  • virginia Kirri-Songhurst | 14-Mar-2014 5:24 pm

    I just sincerely hope that your hard work and stress was not responsible for or exacerbated your condition. Hard work and dedication to patients and your team of staff is no longer recognized or rewarded, or so it seems. I totally fail to understand how in a caring institution that care does not extend to its staff. Had it been the case, I and many others may also not have been forced into early retirement.

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  • Constant restructure, bad publicity, no one recognises the good that happens. Cost cutting and fewer training opportunities for development - to help to train staff todevelop into senior roles puts strain on those currently in the job. Feeling worthless, not being listened to when problems occur should I go on.
    All of the above and many more are making nurses leave. Oh forgot to mention fear that the government may strip our pensions before we even get a chance to retire.
    What hope for the future generations of staff coming up if the current senior staff feel so demoralised

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