The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has published a report indicating there has been a reduction of 3,994 full-time equivalent nursing staff working in senior positions since April 2010. Nursing staff employed at this level – i.e. band seven and eight nurses – include ward sisters, community matrons, clinical nurse specialists and advanced nurse practitioners.
While nursing recruitment at more junior levels has increased to meet safe staffing requirements, some aspects of cost-saving changes within the NHS may have resulted in the false economy of depleting the health service of proven leadership, hard-won experience and specialist knowledge.
‘Worrying shortage of senior NHS nurses’. London: BBC Health News, March 11th 2014.
This relates to:
Frontline First: more than just a number. March 2014 special report. London: Royal College of Nursing (RCN), March 2014.
On the other hand:
“According to the Department of Health, an extra 2,400 hospital nurses have been hired since the Francis report, with over 3,300 more nurses working on NHS hospital wards and 6,000 more clinical staff overall since May 2010”. (BBC News, above).
The growing problem of NHS Trust deficits is discussed elsewhere.
Possibly of interest:
Triggle, N. (2014). Nursing: Are we facing a trade-off? London: BBC Health News, June 17th 2014.