In 2017 RCN members spoke out about the staffing levels on their last shift in a 30,000 strong survey. More than half, 55 per cent, of those who took part said shifts fall short of planned staffing levels; and 53 per cent said that the shortage is compromising the care given to patients.
The results of our survey are not surprising, when you consider that Scotland has a nursing vacancy rate of 5.3%, meaning that over 3,311 WTE posts are unfilled.
The reality of these figures means that nurses and health care support workers - whether in hospitals, community teams, or nursing homes - are struggling, day in and day out, to give care to patients. It is demoralising for nursing staff and distressing for patients.