The independent London newspaper

There are 13,000 unfilled nursing posts in London

06 July, 2017

• IT’S not often that nursing staff feel the need to get “political”. We get on with doing the job we were trained to do.

Many of us cannot imagine doing anything else. But we now find ourselves in a situation that can no longer be tolerated.

Since 2010, pay freezes and the one per cent cap on public sector pay increases have left each member of the NHS nursing staff at least £3,000 worse with salaries falling 14 per cent in real-terms.

The pay cap not only leaves nurses struggling financially, it devalues nurses and nursing. For the first time since 2008, more nurses are now leaving the profession than joining.

Patients cannot get the care they need because there are not enough nurses – in London there are 13,000 unfilled nursing posts, the highest it has ever been. This means wards across the capital are understaffed and our nursing staff overstretched.

A Royal College of Nursing survey of members last month showed that nine in 10 would support industrial action if the pay cap is not scrapped.

That’s why many nurses are now getting involved in a “summer of protest” to give the government a final chance to remove the cap. Failure to do so will result in a formal legal ballot on action later in the year.

Readers may see us as we undertake this activity and we hope they will support our aims. Without nursing staff, the NHS cannot survive.

Please support our campaign and call for the government to #scrapthecap so we can continue to be there for the patients who need us now and in the future.

Chair, Royal College of Nursing London Board 


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