NURSES DRIVEN OUT – Low pay & axing bursary has caused 37,821 vacancies

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NHS workers marching to Downing Street on Wednesday evening demanding 15 per cent pay rise – there are now over 37,000 nursing vacancies in the NHS

THERE are now 37,821 nurse vacancies in the NHS, NHS England confirmed yesterday, releasing the latest data.

This is a rise of 1,738 from the last quarter when there were 36,083 vacancies.

This proves, the Royal College of Nursing says, that nurses are getting driven out of the profession.

The latest figures from the university admissions organisation UCAS show nursing degree applications in England have fallen by 13,000 since 2016, a drop of 30%.

In 2016, the nurses’ bursary which covered the cost of tuition fees and some living expenses, was axed by the Tories. Since the year ending August 2010, average nurse’s pay has fallen by 7.4% in real terms. This has created a toxic cocktail, driving nurses out.

Mike Adams, Royal College of Nursing Director for England, said: ‘The latest figures showing an increase in the number of nursing vacancies in the NHS in England show there is still much more work to be done.

‘Government must invest now in nursing pay and tuition fees, to deliver nurses the health and care the system needs.

‘Our own survey, with around 42,000 responses, saw more than a third (38%) saying staffing levels had actually worsened during the pandemic and nearly three quarters (73%) said improved pay would make them feel more valued.

‘With more than a third (35%) of nursing staff saying they were considering leaving the profession, it is clear more needs to be done not only to recruit more nurses but also keep those we already have.’

Nurses, risking their lives fighting Covid-19, demonstrate outside Downing Street after being ignored for a pay rise.