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To feel sad about the figures on nursing released today

(199 Posts)
noodleaddict Mon 03-Jul-17 11:29:28

It seems like the crisis in nursing is only going to get worse.

More UK nurses and midwives leaving than joining profession
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-40476867

Sad probably doesn't really describe it actually. Patient care is going to suffer. There is no doubt about it. I see a downward spiral happening and I don't know what to do about it.

We need reintroduction of bursaries for training, we need a pay rise, we need better staffing, we need to reduce the reliance on agency.

When is the government going to wake up??

Phosphorus Mon 03-Jul-17 11:37:41

Well if the government is going for Brexit, I'd say they need to reintroduce the bursary.

It brought in a lot of mature students with life experience, alongside students of all ages with a sense of vocation.

No matter what the academic overview is, most people would rather be nursed by reasonably intelligent people, with a desire to care.

A rehaul of NHS management wouldn't go amiss either.

NE14T Mon 03-Jul-17 11:49:04

I agree with all of your points.

It is rather terrifying, I agree. I'm a senior nurse working in A&E and am actively looking to move out before the year is up. As are many of my senior colleagues.

As a result the trust is promoting very junior nurses to move into Band 6 positions who simply don't have the skills for ED Nursing. Many of them can't suture or plaster, some of them can't even take blood and most have no experience of co-ordinating a busy A&E department which is rather different from being in charge in any other NHS area.

It's scary and I think this winter is going to break our emergency services to be frank.

noodleaddict Mon 03-Jul-17 11:49:51

Quite. I wouldn't have been able to afford to train if it hadn't been for the bursary. Most of my classmates had families to support and I don't believe they could have either. Most of us were mature students, and yes we brought our life experience and our strong desire to learn and to care.

Nursing attracts people who are passionate about caring. It is so sad that the current conditions are driving these people away. Everybody is going to lose out when standards of care get worse and worse sad

EverythingUnderTheSun Mon 03-Jul-17 12:22:04

I don't agree with scrapping the bursary, but how much difference has it made really, in terms of numbers? I read a 20% drop in applicants. Considering how oversubscribed nursing was they will still fill the places, presumably they scrapped the bursary knowing this.

Please explain if I am wrong on this! Just as a former would-be nurse I noticed people in general seem to think we're chronically short of nurses all the time because people don't want to train. It seems like the opposite - we have tons of would-be nurses but not enough training places and those who do train are treated so badly they end up leaving the profession.

NE Many of them can't suture or plaster, some of them can't even take blood
Wow! I thought this was covered in basic training!

When I first looked into training 10ish years ago we seemed to have a nursing surplus - people qualifying and unable to find work - what happened?!

CockacidalManiac Mon 03-Jul-17 12:24:42

Funny to read this, as I've let the NMC know today that I'm letting my registration lapse. After having my mental health shredded by 25 years of NHS nursing, I'm now working in retail.
I'm on far less money now, but it's weird not dreading going to work.

CockacidalManiac Mon 03-Jul-17 12:27:23

When I said 'funny to read this', I meant as in coincidental. Not amusing.

Magicpaintbrush Mon 03-Jul-17 12:35:23

So sad and also so scary!!

"NE Many of them can't suture or plaster, some of them can't even take blood
Wow! I thought this was covered in basic training!"

My mum can take blood and she is a receptionist in a doctor's surgery! I can't believe there are nurses who aren't trained to do this??

FormerlyFrikadela01 Mon 03-Jul-17 12:35:50

One massive issue were having in my trust (largely a mental health and community trust) is that a large proportion on band 6 community nurses are retiring. These roles are then being downgraded to band 5 and they can't fill them because everyone knows that you're doing the same work as band 6 staff for less money. Opportunities to move up bands on a clinical path rather management and becoming almost non existent and it noticeably affects morale.
Ive also seen loads of hcas who would have trained as nurses but have chosen not to becasue the debt, increased responsibilities and pressure and the pay ceiling once you hit top of band 5 dont seem worth it. And I don't blame them. My DP is top of band 2, I'm 4 rungs up band 5 and we pretty much come out with the same take home pay.

FormerlyFrikadela01 Mon 03-Jul-17 12:37:21

My mum can take blood and she is a receptionist in a doctor's surgery! I can't believe there are nurses who aren't trained to do this??

Surprisingly it's not actually part of the basic training. It's additional training you can choose to do once qualified.

hula008 Mon 03-Jul-17 12:37:29

You require an extra training for taking blood. Only a few specialities of nurses are required to be able to take blood.

Magicpaintbrush Mon 03-Jul-17 12:38:24

And just to add, I think the government's terrible attitude to the work conditions and pay of public sector workers means the quality of not only nursing but professions like teaching and policing will gradually just go downhill. It feels like the government are wrecking all of institutions that are the very most important and vital to this country. I'm so sorry for anybody, be that nurses or similar who feel they have to leave their profession because of this. It is wrong on so many levels.

CockacidalManiac Mon 03-Jul-17 12:39:12

When I trained back in the early 1990s, we weren't taught to suture, plaster, or take blood. The first two are pretty specific to A&E, the third I only learnt through working with the National Blood Service.

GoldenBlue Mon 03-Jul-17 12:42:07

I think the move to 12 hours shifts can't be helping. They're not exactly family friendly are they. There aren't many childcare options that cover 07:00 - 20:00 for 3 days a week in a cycle that doesn't mean the same days every week

ShuttyTown Mon 03-Jul-17 12:42:18

I'm starting an Access Course in September and hopefully off to uni next year to train as a Midwife. I'm scared though as I hear so many stories from Midwives on social media who hate their jobs because of being so short staffed each shift. I hope I'm doing the right thing

jimijack Mon 03-Jul-17 12:47:29

Same old same old.
The report cited working conditions as a big reason for more people leaving than joining, this has always been a big issue, but the lack of enough staff to SAFELY run a shift is the absolute pits for everyone and of course it's a daily occurrence.

I'm currently working for agencies, from Friday I was made unemployed, I have interviews lined up, but have not applied for loads of jobs as most of them ask for qualifications of "degree level or higher". This rules,me out, yet I have 27 years experience as a qualified nurse.

Agency pay is very good, variety of work very good, but I want the stability of an nhs contract. My beloved nhs is crumbling before my eyes, this is what makes me sad. I want in...yet there are huge barriers! It's demoralizing.

noodleaddict Mon 03-Jul-17 12:48:18

Everything I don't know the stats either, but I think a 20% drop in applicants is a pretty big drop either way.

The government cut the number of pre-registration nursing places back when I was training (around 7 years ago) because supposedly there was a surplus. At the time, this didn't seem to take into account the huge number of nurses who were due to retire in the next few years.

The strategy appears to have backfired, and that's not taking into account the many who will be put off the prospect of getting into huge debt (which then has to be paid off from an already crap salary).

Unfortunately training isn't the only issue. As others have pointed out the loss of experienced nurses is creating a void which is being filled by junior, inexperienced nurses who simply won't have the skills and experience to deliver the same standards in patient care.

Shutty best of luck in your training and I hope you do enjoy your work once qualified. We need you. We are all painting doom and gloom here but there are good points. The public love you, your patients appreciate you, you can feel you're doing a worthwhile thing. Plus some jobs are better than others. For example, I'm in the community now and find it much much less stressful than hospital.

MavisFlumpTheFairy Mon 03-Jul-17 12:50:35

I left the NHS last year, having nursed since the early 70's.
I was no longer going to compromise the standards of care I wanted my patients to receive, was sick sorry and tired of being expected to do more and more work with less and less recognition that the patient comes first.
So effectively 40 years of expertise down the pan.
Very sad and I know very few of my peers who are still working.

PlayingGrownUp Mon 03-Jul-17 12:52:47

Have finished my first year of an access course to go into nursing. I also work full time and am very aware that we are saving every penny we earn because although they are currently offering the bursary in NI it'll probably be scrapped by the time I would get to applying for it. Don't get me wrong it's not a lot - but it would cover our mortgage. Our bank even agreed they'd take it as a lump sum.

Pickleypickles Mon 03-Jul-17 12:54:04

I think the ridiculous hoops they make you jump through to get a nursing qualification are where it's all going wrong. To be a nurse you need to be caring compassionate and have an ounce of common sense. Not be able to right 3000 words on how our approach to smoking has changed in the last 30 years (speaking from experience) we are scaring away fantastic nurses by making them work for a degree that I really feel is pointless. On the job training and exams are the way forward.

FormerlyFrikadela01 Mon 03-Jul-17 12:54:33

I think the move to 12 hours shifts can't be helping. They're not exactly family friendly are they. There aren't many childcare options that cover 07:00 - 20:00 for 3 days a week in a cycle that doesn't mean the same days every week

See id kill to do 12 hour shifts. Our trust used to be dead set against them but are consulting on them now so fingers crossed. As it stands at the moment we are doing great days and nights in the same week, I regularly do 8 or 9 day runs of shifts, split days off. It's shift. Me and DP barely see each other. I'd rather work 3 days a week and have the other 4 with my DS all day, even if me and DP did entriely opposite shifts we'd still get at least 1 day a week together.
Although to be fair I'm lucky in that my MIL is our childcare, even the nursery attached to the hospital doesn't work around our shifts so we'd be buggered otherwise.

scaredofthecity Mon 03-Jul-17 12:54:52

I'm not surprised, nursing has become so unattractive.
It can work well with family life but with chronic low staffing and mediocre pay at best I'm not surprised many are moving to less stressful jobs.
band 6 should be accessible for all those that want it, the mass reduction of posts is simply insulting and demoralising.
We are mostly working in highly specialised roles and general responsibilities have changed massively, this should be reflected with a fair wage and an appreciation for what we do.

FormerlyFrikadela01 Mon 03-Jul-17 12:56:24

Loads of mistakes there blush I have a toddler attempting to sleep on me.

Werllu Mon 03-Jul-17 12:58:14

It's my life long dream to be a midwife, but sadly I don't feel it's an accessible course. You need an overall distinction on the access course throughout, and then, only then and for 3 years only, are you eligible to apply against thousands of other applicants for an apx 15 space degree course.

The odds of actually getting onto the course is almost minuscule. It saddens me so much sad

FaithHopeCharityDesperation Mon 03-Jul-17 13:06:50

I've a couple of questions for nurses/midwives on the thread if that's ok.
I'm nothing at all to do with nursing, just interested in what's going wrong & saddened that it is.
I'm not pretending to even begin to understand what's happening, just an interested outsider who's trying to understand a bit.

Is there an over-reliance on agency working/bank nurses?
As in, is there a lack of full time places which are needed, but are not created due to 'savings' (but then are constantly filled by agency nurses & are a false economy)?

Is it really necessary to do 'a degree' (like a PP mentioned) with dissertations etc for all nurses, or would it be better to do an earn as you learn type thing whereby a trainee nurse works up to fully trained, gaining increasing levels of qualification along the way and ending up with a degree level qualification; with the flexibility to mark time/stay at different levels along the way if you choose to?

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