Nursing cuts pushing NHS towards crisis
More than 30,000 NHS jobs are at risk of being cut, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has said, with leaders expressing fears for the future of patient care.
Since the coalition came to power in May 2010, the NHS workforce in England has decreased by 28,500 posts, and a further 32,700 jobs are at risk, the RCN said.
Between May 2010 and July this year, the number of qualified nurses in the NHS fell by more than 6,000.
The RCN warned that the NHS is “sleepwalking into a crisis”, saying that staff cuts come with soaring demand for care from an ageing population and the increasing number of people living with long-term conditions.
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“The RCN believes that the NHS is sleepwalking into a nursing crisis in England that is drawing closer as the size of the cuts increase,” a report for the organisation’s Frontline First campaign said.
While NHS trusts make the decisions about staffing, the RCN said there is a lack of national oversight about the reduction in staff numbers.
Dr Peter Carter, chief executive and general secretary of the RCN, said: “If this continues, we fear the worst for patient care in this country.”