“Over the past five years, I have seen approximately 16 registered band five nurses leave their posts within the hospital ward in which I work. Despite senior managers claiming that they left for promotion or personal reasons, I know that this is not an accurate account in most cases. They all moved to band five posts elsewhere as they were disillusioned with their jobs. One nurse told me, for example, that she was leaving because of the fear of being suspended from work, difficulties coping with the severe challenges of the role, and working long hours (often staying late to complete paperwork).
“While I understand the difficulties these colleagues experienced, it leaves the nurses who currently remain in post in a very vulnerable and critical situation. The issues remain unchanged and this has impacted greatly on productivity and the performance of nursing staff. There is a significant increase in staff sickness due to work-related stress. Those nurses who do come to work face increased workloads, tight deadlines, difficulties in prioritising tasks, and a feeling of not being valued for their efforts. I have to say that it is difficult to find work meaningful or rewarding, and it is difficult to generate effort and enthusiasm within the staff team, who feel demoralised. The lack of experienced registered nurses to care for patients is a very poor reflection of the health service. It is a long way from a safe, sound, supportive service for patients or staff.”
Band five staff nurse, Belfast Health and Social Care Trust