Nursing staff make up more than half of the NHS workforce.
But the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) have said that they’ve been pushed beyond their limits, and patient care is at risk.
Roy Tomlinson, Board Chair, RCN Yorkshire and the Humber Region, said:
There are a record number of nursing vacancies, and 25,000 nurses left the profession last year alone in the UK. At the end of June, NHS figures show 6,050 nursing vacancies across the North East and Yorkshire.
For the first time in our history, Royal College of Nursing members working for the NHS in every part of the UK are considering strike action. Patients are our priority – and we must advocate for them.
This year is worse than ever, and the UK government has no plan to improve things. Our members tell us that care given to patients is regularly compromised because there are not enough nursing staff.
Patients deserve better. They deserve safe and effective care. They deserve dignity. They should not have to fear that when they need them, nursing staff won’t be there.
Without fair pay, we will never solve the problem of staffing shortages. I will be urging our members to use their voice and vote for change.
The RCN are asking the for support to the nursing staff as we take these steps to protect nursing and protect patients. To add your name to our petition, go to: www.rcn.org.uk/pay.
Sarah Dodsworth, Regional Director for the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) in Yorkshire and the Humber said:
Years and years of underfunding have brought nursing shortages to a crisis point, with record numbers of unfilled nurse posts.
25,000 people left the profession in the last year alone. Many leaving because they are exhausted, stressed or just can’t afford to work as a nurse anymore.
Paying nursing staff fairly is a simple way to recruit and retain more of them.
The government needs to listen. Nursing is a valuable profession for this country, and we need to pay staff properly.