Advanced search

Nursing crisis

(22 Posts)
allegretto Fri 03-Nov-17 07:30:49

The number of nurses available and ready to work in the UK is dropping alarmingly, obviously Brexit is to blame for a big drop in numbers from EU countries. At the moment it is looking really unlikely that we will be able to turn it around - especially as British nurses are also leaving to work overseas and training is now so costly. Is there any way out of this mess and could any nurses give their opinions - is it really as dire as it sounds to work for the NHS today??

sandgrown Fri 03-Nov-17 07:38:13

We could return to the system where we had different levels of nursing (SEN & SRN) then good and committed people could become nurses without having to have a degree.

allegretto Fri 03-Nov-17 07:44:46

Surely we would still need some nurses with degrees too though?

CPtart Fri 03-Nov-17 07:54:04

And one in four nurses eligible to retire in the next ten years (myself included) grin

fairgame84 Fri 03-Nov-17 07:59:29

They are trying to plug the gap with Nursing Associates who are basically the same as SEN.
Everything seems to come full circle in Nursing.
I've been out of practice since 2013 but I'm planning on returning in 2019.

ohwell02 Sat 11-Nov-17 15:11:33

I am GB national but I have worked abroad EU and non-EU. I was in education. To be honest I left the UK-along with nursing friends- because of the attitude towards people in the caring professions in the UK. I hope I am not offending you but if something is to be done then we must face the truth. Since the Thatcher years many UK people treat health etc the same as business. People still tell me even now that the staff in the NHS etc are too lazy and inefficient and it is better when it is privatised. I am puzzled now that in the Leave campaign people want the NHS................
UK citizens set a higher value on property owning than on public services . They prefer to commute 3 hours a day to own a house than
have less glamorous housing and good services.
Of course it is up to GB that they have made this choice. I respect their wishes .
So to summarise recruitment and retention the issues are as follows:
1.Treating people who have studied to nurse , teach, social work etc
the same as workers in industries where quals are not necessary.
2. Thinking privatisation makes carers work better
3. Poor life balance eg long 12 hour shifts, unsocial hours, evening work marking assignments , extra curricular participation,
4 Staff shortages leading to enormous stress, illness and absence.
Unpaid overtime not regarded
5. Frequent bullying as Managers are pushed as well to ensure
unachievable targets are met.
Me and my nursing friends loved it abroad. Appreciation for our work. Up to 25% fewer working hours.

LurkingHusband Sat 11-Nov-17 16:37:26

On a personal level, I think the best use of time and effort is to (a) stay healthy, and (b) get used to it. Because I can't think of anything else to do.

PianoThirty Sat 11-Nov-17 16:56:02

@CPtart :
“one in four nurses eligible to retire in the next ten years”

That’s the same in most professions. People work for about 40 years; so one person in four is in their last decade of work.

LurkingHusband Sat 11-Nov-17 17:06:30

That’s the same in most professions. People work for about 40 years; so one person in four is in their last decade of work.

Assuming a static population and replacement rate, which we all know is not the case. And that's before we consider whether different professions have different demographic profiles.

FormerlyFrikadela01 Sat 11-Nov-17 17:23:45

I recently attended a forum run by CQC for my current trust and overwhelmingly the main issue that came up was front line staff not feeling valued or like we matter. Also having no say at all. This was hugely evident in the forum itself since out of 30 staff to attend only 5 were actually clinical, the rest all came from corporate. The experience of the corporate staff sounded nothing like what we recognise (they never leave late, never miss lunch, onsite sandwich bar, onsite massages every Friday). It left a very bitter taste in my mouth. My colleague pointed out during the session that corporate only exists to support clinical and we exist for the patient and it stinks that, in my trust at least, it's blatantly obvious that clinical staff just aren't valued.

Im not in the least bit surprised we have a recruitment crisis in my trust or the bus as a whole when staff feel like shit. And for once I'm not entirely convinced money is the answer, if I was to choose right now bbetween a payrise and actually feeling good about my role from the trust as well as the patients I'd choose the latter.

DuckOffAutocorrectYouShiv Sat 11-Nov-17 17:45:48

frik prior to training as a nurse, I was non clinical in the NHS. Mostly in an Acute trust. I (and most of the people I knew on both sides) rarely ate lunch/took breaks and were in before and after their official hours. There were no massages. It isn’t unique to clinical staff, I’m surprised your Trust seems to have such a stark difference. Stress, pressure and long days exist on both sides of the fence.

As for corporate existing for clinical and clinical existing for patients...The staff in hospital, whether they be cleaners, chief execs or nurses are all important. Admin workers are key, especially in the modern age of arse governing litigation where everything has to be documented, audited and reported. We rely on each other to do a specific job in order that the huge machine can keep turning. We’re all parts of a jigsaw puzzle. I don’t know how valuable kicking lumps out of each other in a clinical vs non-clinical sense is, certainly in terms of delivery of care.

DuckOffAutocorrectYouShiv Sat 11-Nov-17 17:47:15

(Arse covering)

DuckOffAutocorrectYouShiv Sat 11-Nov-17 17:55:16

The plugging of the gaps with nursing associates worries me. Initially we had assurances that these Band 4 roles would not replace registered nurse roles but would instead enhance numbers. Everyone I spoke to was cynical (me too), after all NAs are considerably cheaper. My suspicion was that they would be employed as ‘unoffocial’ band 5 staff nurses, doing the work of band 5a abut paid as cheaper B4s. Leaving B5s doing the work of B6s for B5 money and so on. Another pay cut by stealth, as well a reduction in posts and an increase in supervisory responsibilities. Oh and short changing patient care.And lo! One Trust (Wolverhampton) has already gone back on that, saying they’ll be employing NAs in lieu of RNs angry

Crumbs1 Sat 11-Nov-17 17:57:22

There are numerous factors that exacerbate the issue. Some could be addressed but some are the problem of an ageing society.
We have far more demand.
People use it for silly reasons that granny and common sense would have sorted previously.
There are more complex treatments and diagnostic options available for more illnesses.
People google, think they have something awful and won’t believe their GP who says it will go away on its own.
We have a more litigious society and NHS no longer has crown immunity. People threaten to sue all the time. Who wants to work in an environment that supports them to do so?
Nurses are ageing.
Nurse training bursaries are going. Students used to be attached to hospitals, felt a sense of belonging and were paid to train.
There are more career options available. More opportunities for poorer but bright young people to go to university. Nursing isn’t seen as high status or respected.
Brexit has put off many EU nurses.
The language tests are ridiculously and unnecessarily hard for overseas nurses.
A degree in nursing doesn’t mean you have to nurse - it is a degree as any other.
The NHS is castigated every day by Daily Mail et al. It puts people off despite NHS being one of highest performing health care systems in the world.

FormerlyFrikadela01 Sat 11-Nov-17 18:16:23


I don't disagree with you that all staff are working towards the larger common goal and everyone is essential although 5 layers of management seems excessive .

It's difficult not to get drawn into the comparisons sometimes. Even our staff satisfaction surveys show a huge disconnect between morale from clinical and non clinical staff. The chief exec acknowledged it last year but nothing has changed.

I know one thing for certain though, a room full of people who work Monday to Friday 9-5 deciding it's okay for us to work 11 days in a row because it doesn't contravene the eu working directive won't endear themselves to anyone bastarding eroster team.

FormerlyFrikadela01 Sat 11-Nov-17 18:20:47

Oh and you're 100% spot on about NAs. I work in mental health and even before the introduction of the B4 we had massive down grading of band6 community roles to a band 5. It was unheard of for a care coordinator to be band 5 at one point since it's a post that requires experience... they now hire them straight out of uni.

It's a worrying time.

CPtart Sat 11-Nov-17 19:38:06

piano and I think this year for the first time more registered nurses left the NMC register than joined it.

Kpo58 Sat 11-Nov-17 20:10:56

I always wonder how nurses with children cope. It can't be easy getting childcare for random 12 hour shifts which could also include overnight and/or weekends and even harder at affordable prices.

fairgame84 Sat 11-Nov-17 20:23:07

kpo I used to rely on my retired Dad. I used to feel awful that so many of my Mum and Dads weekends were taken up looking after my son.
I won't be going back unless DS is ok to be home alone overnight. Hopefully it will be mix of home alone and both grandparents for weekends.

FormerlyFrikadela01 Sat 11-Nov-17 21:28:27

Both me and my partner work shifts in the nhs (he's a hca). It would be impossible if it werent for my mother in law retiring last year and doing all our childcare for us. We work in the same service and even then our managers can't guarantee opposite shift becasue of how the system is set up.
I don't know of single one of my colleagues woth children who doesn't rely on family for childcare. Even the onsite nursery only does 7:30-6 (early shift starts at 7) and asks for set days so isn't really doable for those of us doing shift work.
Our trust's advertises itself as family friendly yet I've seen no evidence of that.

DuckOffAutocorrectYouShiv Sat 11-Nov-17 23:02:17

kpo, I don’t work in a hospital doing 12hr shifts on a 24hr/7d rota. Hospital nurses on long days with unsociable hours have to have bombproof childcare/support networks for it to work.

Pippioddstocking Sat 11-Nov-17 23:51:31

I've been a nurse for 20 years and been back and forth to uni doing other courses and my Masters ( as well as working full time ) during this time . I only get 10 k more than when I first qualified .
My five other siblings, of which only one went to uni , the other 4 went straight into the work place , they all work 9-5 and all get paid nearly 100 k a year . I was supposed to be the bright one ! Doesn't look like it careeer wise does it .
I think this is one of the reasons nursing isn't seen as being an attractive career choice .

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: