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RCN: Stressed Out Nurses Leave Their Shifts In Tears
Date Posted: 04/Oct/2017
Royal College of Nursing reveals how patient care is suffering from lack of staff
 
Patient care is being compromised due to shortages of nurses and support staff, according to RCN members across Yorkshire and the Humber. And they say things are so bad nurses are now leaving their shifts in floods of tears.
 
A survey of more than 30,000 nursing staff across the UK – including 2,115 in this region – asked about staffing levels on their most recent shift and the quality of care provided. And 58% of respondents in the Yorkshire and the Humber region reported that there was a shortfall of one or more registered nurses on their last shift and 41% reported a shortfall of one or more Health Care Support workers. Across the UK more than half (55%) of nursing staff said shifts did not have the level of nurses planned and the shortage is compromising the care given to patients (53%).
 
The RCN is calling on the boards of health and social care providers across the UK to urgently review nurse staffing levels, give public assurances on patient safety and take action where standards are not met.
 
The respondents also reported that:
* Staff leave work “sobbing” at the impact of shortages on patient care.
 
* Colleagues have burned out and have become sick themselves, unable to come to work.
 
* Patients are no longer afforded enough dignity, even dying alone.
 
* Many question their future in nursing and contemplate leaving the profession.
 
* They struggle to give their children and families enough support after shifts that can exceed 12 hours.
 
The findings come after the nursing regulator – the Nursing and Midwifery Council – warned nursing was shrinking as more people were leaving than joining the profession. It is expected that one in three nurses will retire in the next 10 years.
 
Karl Norwood, Operational Manager for RCN Yorkshire and the Humber region, said: “Ensuring our hospitals are operating with the appropriate number of staff is critically important in ensuring the safety of patients and nursing staff alike. Despite regular recruitment campaigns in the UK and Europe, more and more nurses are leaving the profession.
 
“They are being forced out by ever increasing stress and pressure of the role while their pay has been capped. Nurses have seen their salaries drop by 14% in real terms over the last seven years and some face the very real prospect of leaving the job they love in order to pay the rent.
 
“Sadly, it is also becoming harder to attract people into the profession with the lack of a bursary becoming a barrier to many signing up. Since the Government announced the withdrawal of student funding for would-be nurses, there has been a reported 20% drop in applications for graduate nursing courses.
 
“Improving staff morale and pay is the key to solving the staffing crisis facing nursing. RCN members will continue to campaign for new laws on staffing and fairer pay.”
 
By Andrew Hirst
Source: Examiner News

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