Skip to main content

RCN warns of fewer nurses, providing more care.

We know now that the NHS is stretched to breaking point.  The doctors and nurses tell us so.  This is not an organisational issue.  This is an issue of funding.  With increased demands, with flat-line funding year on year for the past five, and fewer nurses, the system is creaking.  This is the reality on the ground.

In a pre-election report, the Royal College of Nursing  says that the he fragile frontline also highlights other areas which the next Government must address as a matter of urgency.

The community nursing workforce has been cut by over 3,300, despite NHS plans to move care from hospitals to the community. And the recent increases to student nursing places are not enough to make up for previous cuts, increasing demands on an ageing workforce.

The report also reveals that last year over 30,000 potential nursing students were turned away as over 50,000 people applied for just 21,205 places. Yet figures from UCAS show that there is no shortage of potential nurses to increase the workforce.  This is a matter of political decision and funding.

Dr Peter Carter, Chief Executive & General Secretary of the RCN said:

“We warned that cutting the workforce numbers to fund the NHS reorganisation and to find the efficiency savings was the wrong course to take.

“The cuts were so severe that we are only just catching up with where we were five years ago. Many areas, like district nursing and mental health, are even worse off."

This is a crisis of the governments making.  Five years ago the NHS was in a relatively healthy state with funding having increased on average by 5.7 per cent in real terms.  Now the NHS is almost bankrupt 50% of hospital Trusts running deficits.  This is the tragedy.

The Coalition set out with the promise of ring-fenced funding for the NHS.  That pledge was broken. Mr Cameron said there would be 'no top down reorganisation of the NHS.  That pledge was broken.  Now Tory pledges on the NHS are predicated on a further £22 billion of efficiency savings.

The NHS crisis is one of the government's making.  With savage cuts in social care the demand on the NHS has increased.

Dr Peter Carter continued by saying: “While the health service has spent the last five years running on the spot, demand has continued to increase. Whoever forms the next Government must learn from this report and take immediate action to grow the nursing workforce, and ensure it can keep up with demand with a sustainable and long-term plan.

“Unlike many problems facing the health service, the solution to the nursing workforce is very simple, and is a matter of political will. With more people wanting to nurse than ever, the next Government has the power to increase training places and expand the supply of nurses. If it does not, it will be failing a generation of patients.

“As the election approaches there will be a lot of promises, and many will be forgotten. But the next Government can rest assured that it will be judged in five years’ time on whether we have a properly funded health service which is fit for the 21st Century.”





Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Ian Duncan-Smith says he wants to make those on benefits 'better people'!

By any account, the government's austerity strategy is utilitarian. It justifies its approach by the presumed potential ends. It's objective is to cut the deficit, but it has also adopted another objective which is specifically targeted. It seeks to drive people off benefits and 'back to work'.  The two together are toxic to the poorest in society. Those least able to cope are the most affected by the cuts in benefits and the loss of services. It is the coupling of these two strategic aims that make their policies ethically questionable. For, by combining the two, slashing the value of benefits to make budget savings while also changing the benefits system, the highest burden falls on a specific group, those dependent on benefits. For the greater good of the majority, a minority group, those on benefits, are being sacrificed; sacrificed on the altar of austerity. And they are being sacrificed in part so that others may be spared. Utilitarian ethics considers the ba

His way or none? Why I can't vote for Jeremy

There is an assumption that all would be well with the Labour Party if people hadn't expressed their genuine concern with what they consider the inadequacies of Jeremy Corbyn's leadership. If only, it is said, the Parliamentary Labour Party and his Shadow Cabinet had supported him, instead of undermining him, all would have been fine. If they had been quiet and towed the line, then the party would not have been in the mess it is in. So, should they have stayed silent, or speak of their concerns? There comes a point when the cost of staying silent outweighs the cost of speaking out. This is a judgment. Many call it a coup by the PLP. They paint a picture of a right-wing PLP out of touch with the membership.  This is the narrative of the Corbyn camp. But Jeremy Corbyn, over the decades he has been in politics, showed the way.  It was Jeremy Corbyn who opposed almost all Labour leaders and rarely held back from speaking out, or voting time and again against the party line. As

Mr Duncan-Smith offers a disingenuous and divisive comparison

Some time ago, actually it was a long time ago when I was in my early teens, someone close to me bought a table. It was an early flat pack variety. It came with a top and four legs. He followed the instructions to the letter screwing the legs into the top. But when he had completed it the table wobbled. One leg he explained was shorter than the other three; so he sawed a bit from each of the other legs. The table wobbled. One leg, he explained, was longer than the other three. So, he sawed a bit off. The table wobbled. He went on cutting the legs, but the table continued to wobble. Cut, cut, cut! By this time he had convinced himself there was no alternative to it.  He ended up with a very low table indeed, supported by four very stumpy legs and a bit of cardboard placed under one of them to stop it wobbling on the uneven floor.  Mr Duncan-Smith argues that we need a 1% cap on benefits to be 'fair to average earners'. Average  earners have seen their incomes rise by less tha