RESPONDING to the latest Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) figures showing more nurses leaving than joining the profession, Janet Davies, Chief Executive and General Secretary of the RCN said: ‘These figures are the starkest warning yet that nurses have put up with too much for too long.
‘Our members have had enough, and as a result the profession is shrinking.
‘Patients are paying the price for the government’s failure to plan for the future and it looks set to get worse.
‘With more people leaving than joining, the NHS will be further than ever from filling the 40,000 vacant nurse jobs in England alone.
‘The average nurse is £3,000 worse off in real-terms compared to 2010. The one per cent cap means nursing staff can no longer afford to stay in the profession and scrapping student funding means people can no longer afford to join it.
‘Just as worrying is the fact that these latest figures show more British nurses are moving to work abroad.
‘Nurses are taking to the streets this summer to stand up for safe patient care and the profession they love.
‘Theresa May can’t wait months to lift the pay cap and bring people into nursing. She must concern herself with reversing this trend immediately.’
Meanwhile, Saturday’s massive trade union march has exacerbated the crisis in the Tory government and party.
With May and chancellor Hammond said to be under pressure, environment secretary Michael Gove told the BBC Andrew Marr Show yesterday: ‘I think that we should listen to the pay review bodies who govern each individual area of public sector pay.’
Marr suggested the cap, imposed by the previous chancellor Osborne and continued by Hammond, set the parameters for the bodies’ recommendations.
Gove said: ‘They take account of that but they also take account of other questions as well, including the number of people who enter the profession, whether we need to have an increase in pay in order to ensure we get the very best people into the profession.
‘These pay review bodies have been set up in order to ensure that we can have authoritative advice on what’s required, in order to ensure that the public services on which we rely are effectively staffed and the people within them are effectively supported.’