RCN condemns reduction in nursing numbers
Published: 25 September 2012
The Royal College of Nursing says it will continue to oppose the “slash and burn” approach being taken to job cuts and will work to keep RCN members in their posts and patients safe.
The comments were made as NHS Information Centre workforce statistics released today revealed that the number of registered nursing, midwifery and health visiting staff in England has fallen by 5,780 since April 2010.
Dr Peter Carter, RCN Chief Executive & General Secretary, said that members have been highlighting the posts being slashed by NHS trusts for more than two years and the RCN has proved that more than 60,000 posts are at risk.
“You simply can’t 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. A reduction on this scale, happening over a short period of time, is something that the NHS as a whole will struggle to adapt to. It will also cost the health service money in the long run, as patients will start to be admitted to hospital unnecessarily,” he added.
The RCN has said the NHS should be organised to keep people well and out of hospital, and nursing staff have a crucial role in making this happen.
For a more extensive breakdown of the figures, visit the NHS Information Centre website.