Advising with empathy and experience

Concern about falling nurse numbers.


In the past two years midwives and nurse numbers have fallen by around six thousand. The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has warned the decision to cut so many jobs, so quickly, was short sighted and would cost the NHS in the long run.

Peter Carter, Chief Executive of the RCN stated a further sixty thousand jobs could be at risk, he went on to claim “you simply cant take out this many posts without profoundly affecting patient care, one nurse being taken off a ward or out of a community nursing team can make a huge difference to the time the rest of the team can spend with patients.”

Carter claims a reduction on this scale is something the NHS as a whole will struggle to adapt to, and suggested that the NHS should organise itself to keep people well and out of hospital. He ended by saying “The RCN will continue to oppose a slash and burn approach to job cuts”.

In contrast Health Minister Lord Howe claims there are around one thousand more clinical staff working in hospitals since May 2010, as well as 3,500 more doctors.

Lord Howe went on to state that there are around 25,000 more staff in hospitals than a few years ago  while, in a blitz of “unnecessary bureaucracy”, 18,000 administrative positions have been scrapped.

Andy Burnham, Shadow Health Secretary has also been heavily critical of the move, stating “David Cameron promised to protect the NHS budget but has cut it for two years running. To make matters worse, he prioritized spending on back-office restructuring over protecting the NHS front line.”

Commenting on the story, Richard Wood of the CNCI team said “the experience of many of our clients is that staff shortages in key areas, particularly midwifery, have a significant impact on quality of care. We know that these pressures increase the likelihood of errors and harm to mum or baby”.


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