More nurses and midwives leaving UK profession than joining, figures reveal (The Guardian: 3 July 2017)

More midwives and nurses are leaving the profession in the UK than joining for the first time on record, with the number departing having risen by 51% in just four years.

The figures, which will add to concerns about NHS staff shortages, show that 20% more people left the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) register than joined it in 2016/17. The overall number of leavers was 34,941, compared with 23,087 in 2012/13.

While concerns have previously been raised about a large drop in EU registrants in the wake of the Brexit vote, the NMC figures, published on Monday, show that it is the departure of UK nurses – who make up 85% of the register – that is having the biggest impact. In 2016/17, 29,434 UK nurses and midwives left the register, up from 19,818 in 2012/13, and 45% more UK registrants left than joined last year.

Unions say there is a shortage of 40,000 nurses and 3,500 midwives in England alone and they, and NHS trusts, blamed the pay cap and workplace pressures....read more

 

Doctors ‘horrified’ by STP staff costs (BMA: 27 June 2017)

A vast cohort of operations managers, communications executives, administrators and financial analysts has been created to drive forward controversial STPs (sustainability and transformation plans) – taking millions of pounds out of the frontline NHS.

A BMA News investigation has revealed that health leaders have created more than 150 jobs, with annual salaries of at least £8.5m, despite funding on the front line being scarcer than ever before.

In some areas new roles have been created for external applicants – but some STPs are using costly agency staff or seconding senior staff from other NHS organisations. One ‘financial lead’ bills the NHS for a pro-rata salary of nearly £500,000.

The investigation has also revealed a major disparity in the processes being carried out across the country...read more

 

Incidences of rota gaps surge (BMA: 26 June 2017)

Around two-thirds of hospital doctors have experienced rota gaps in the last 12 months, a new survey has found.

The BMA quarterly survey also found that 65 per cent of hospital doctors and 48 per cent of GPs reported vacancies in their departments and practices.

Speaking at this year’s annual representative meeting in Bournemouth today, BMA council chair Mark Porter warned that workforce shortages, along with financial underinvestment, were critically affecting staff morale and patient care.

Dr Porter, who told the conference that the NHS was now effectively ‘running on fumes’, said that the Government had to stop passing the buck and engage in finding solutions to the challenges facing the health service.

He said: ‘We still have one of the best healthcare systems the world. It treats more patients than ever before, and deploys treatments of which I could only have dreamt when I qualified as a doctor.

‘But after years of underinvestment, with a growing, ageing population, and despite the extraordinary dedication of its staff, it is failing too many people, too often.’... Read more

 

96% drop in EU nurses registering to work in Britain since Brexit vote (The Guardian, 12 June 2017)

The number of nurses from the EU registering to work in the UK has dropped by 96% less than a year after the Brexit vote, official figures show.

Last July, 1,304 EU nurses came to work in the UK; this fell to just 46 in April, Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) statistics show.

The Health Foundation, which obtained the figures via a freedom of information request, said there was a shortage of 30,000 nurses in England alone, adding that the NHS could not afford such a drop.

Anita Charlesworth, the charity’s director of research and economics, said: “Without EU nurses it will be even harder for the NHS and other employers to find the staff they need to provide safe patient care. The findings should be a wake-up call to politicians and health service leaders.

“Clearly, action is needed to offset any further loss of EU nursing staff in the near future. But the overall shortage of 30,000 nurses is not a shortage caused by the Brexit vote. The chronic shortage of nurses is the result of years of short-term planning and cuts to training places. A sustainable, long-term approach to workforce planning is desperately needed.”... Read more

 

NHS pay cap 'must be lifted' (BBC News: 8 May 2017)

The pay cap on NHS staff must be lifted because it puts patient safety at risk, NHS bosses say.

NHS Providers said the cap, which limits pay rises to 1% a year to 2019, was causing severe recruitment and retention problems in England.

The body, which represents NHS trusts in England, said the next government must look at the issue immediately.

Labour says it would look to increase pay, but the Tories and Lib Dems have not yet set out any pay plans.

Labour wants to increase pay so it better reflects the cost of living, but has not said by how much.

Over the weekend the Lib Dems did announce they would increase income tax by a penny-in-the-pound to boost investment in the NHS....Read more

 

Nurses will see their pay ‘cut by 12% over a decade’ (The Guardian: 29 April 2017)

workers will have had their pay cut by 12% by the end of the decade because of a government-imposed wage restraint that is now exacerbating chronic understaffing, new research reveals.

The 625,000 health service staff who earn at least £22,000 will have seen their income fall by 12% between 2010-11 and 2020-21 as a result of years of below-inflation 0% and 1% pay rises eroding their spending power, according to a report by the Health Foundation thinktank

The real-terms drop in pay will hit NHS personnel across the UK who are on band five or above in the service’s pay scales, which includes all 315,000 nurses. The Royal College of Nursing’s 270,000 members are currently being polled on whether they should strike – for the first time in their history – in protest at the government holding down their pay by limiting rises to 1% every year until 2020.

Staff salaries have already been cut by 6% since the coalition came to power in 2010, more than the 2% seen across the economy as a whole in that time, the report found. Midwives have seen their pay shrink by 6%, but doctors and health visitors have been hit by 8% and 12% drops respectively....read more

 

Children's hospital units forced to close to new patients due to staff shortages (The Guardian: 18 April 2017)

Hospital units that treat children and very sick babies are having to shut their doors temporarily to new patients because they are “dangerously” short of specialist staff, a new report reveals.

Widespread shortages of paediatric doctors and nurses also means that the care children receive is being put at risk, according to the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.

A chronic lack of staff is forcing doctors to take potentially life or death decisions about which patients to treat quickly, one paediatrician said. “Last night we only had one registrar instead of two. We had an emergency in A&E and [the] labour ward at the same time and she had to make a snap decision which to go to. It’s being forced to dice with death,” said the medic, who asked to remain anonymous.

Another paediatrician said: “It’s becoming normal to do the work of two or three so corners are constantly being cut and kids don’t get the time and attention they deserve.”...read more

 

NHS facing potential 42,000 nursing shortfall by 2020 (National Health Executive: 2 May 2017)

The NHS could face a crisis in nursing by 2020, as there may be a shortfall of 42,000 people, around 12% of the profession, according to new research.

In a report released today by the Health Foundation called ‘In Short Supply’, figures in the 2016 NHS Staff Survey were analysed, unearthing fresh concern that staffing levels are insufficient to support nurses to do their job properly.

Pay was also found to be a problem that is likely to worsen in the future, as it was revealed that NHS staff with salaries on pay bands five and above, which includes nurses, will drop by 12% between 2010-11 and 2020-21 in real terms. This is a figure that the Health Foundation believes is set to worsen in the future.

This follows Jeremy Hunt announcing a real terms pay cut at the end of March, a policy that was described as a “bitter blow” to nurses by union the Royal College of Nursing (RCN).

During the run up to the general election on 8 June, last week Labour pledged to axe the 1% pay cap for NHS staff in an effort to show the party’s support for health workers – something a number of unions immediately threw their support behind...read more

 

NHS England has made ‘no progress’ on increasing GP numbers, says PAC (National Health Executive: 27 April 2017)

There has been “no progress” made by NHS England on increasing the number of GPs despite NHS England targets to train 5,000 more doctors by 2020, MPs have today warned.

In its ‘Access to General Practice: progress review’ report, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) said that since its last report a year ago, at the time when the GP Forward View was developed, little had been done to actually deliver the ambitions set out in the strategy.

This follows figures that showed the number of doctors in general practice had actually fallen between March 2016 and September 2016, contrary to the strategy’s plans. 

PAC stated: “The number of GPs has fallen in the last year, from 34,592 full-time equivalent doctors in September 2015 to 34,495 in September 2016.

“Increasing this number relies on both increasing the recruitment of trainees and improving the retention of the existing workforce, but Health Education England still lacks a credible plan for ensuring that there are enough GPs and that they are in the right areas.

“Health Education England accepted that more could be done to promote general practice as a career choice, and highlighted work underway to make training options more flexible. NHS England added it has a development programme in place to tackle workload in general practice.”

On top of this, the committee raised concern that patient outcomes were being affected due to GP services being closed at core hours...read more

 

Social care system 'beginning to collapse' as 900 carers quit every day (BBC: 11 April 2017)

More than 900 adult social care workers a day quit their job in England last year, new figures reveal.

Service providers warn that growing staff shortages mean vulnerable people are receiving poorer levels of care.

In a letter to the prime minister, the chairman of the UK Homecare Association said the adult social care system - which applies to those over the age of 18 - has begun to collapse.

The government said an extra £2bn is being invested in the system.

An ageing population means demand is increasing for adult social care services.

Those who provide care to people directly in their own homes, or in nursing homes, say a growing shortage of staff means people face receiving deteriorating levels of care.

"You just can't provide a consistent level of care if you have to keep recruiting new people", said Sue Gregory, who has been a care home nurse in North Yorkshire for 13 years.

"Its very simple, not many people want to do this kind of work, and this is a profession that relies on you getting to know the people you are looking after."...read more

 

Record number of GP closures force 265,000 to find new doctors (The Guardian: 7 April 2017)

A record number of GP practices closed last year, forcing thousands of patients to find a new surgery, in spite of government attempts to stop local doctors shutting their doors.

NHS England data showed nearly a hundred practices closed in 2016, a 114% increase in GP closures compared with figures from 2014. Of the 92 practices that shut, 58 did so completely, while 34 merged with other local surgeries in order to pool resources.

The drop in GP numbers meant 265,000 patients – an increase of 150% from 2014 – had to change their practice last year, often travelling further for care. Brighton was particularly badly affected with 9,000 patients displaced when four practices closed. There have been a total of seven closures in the city over the past two years.

The new data, obtained by the GP website Pulse, has renewed fears that family doctors are not coping with increased demand and need an urgent cash injection to survive. Senior doctors also expressed concern that government funding was not being targeted correctly. ...read more

 

What Impact does Brexit have on nursing? (The Guardian: 28 February 2017)

The NHS faces a major shortfall in nurses – and the EU referendum result threatens to derail supply further.

The NHS faces a severe nursing shortage. An ageing population has pushed up demand, while an ageing nursing workforce – with one in three nurses set to retire in the next 10 years – is reducing supply. The shortage is particularly acute in mental health, with specialist nurse numbers falling more than 10% in the past five years.

And the Brexit vote may make it even worse. A July 2016 Institute for Employment Studies (IES) report reveals about 4.5% of NHS nurses in 2015 were from EU countries excluding Ireland, a steep rise from the 1% of 2009. In some trusts in London and the east of England, the proportion is as high as 20%.

Nurses who have been here more than five years will be eligible to remain. But what will happen to the others? Helen McKenna, senior policy adviser at the King’s Fund thinktank, believes that the government “urgently needs to clarify its position on the status of nationals who are already here in the UK working in health and social care roles”. While the prime minister has said she would like to guarantee the rights of EU citizens already living here, that is by no means certain. McKenna says: “Her position is likely to be dependent on reciprocal agreements for UK citizens living elsewhere in Europe.”...Read More

 

Maternity units across England facing the axe under plans to transform NHS care (The Mirror: 16 February 2017)

Eleven maternity and neonatal units across England are reportedly facing either being axed or merged under plans to transform obstetrics care in the NHS .

Proposals to remodel the health service in order to plug a £22 billion hole by 2021 reveals major changes across toe maternity services.

Now hospitals in Lancashire and South Cumbria, West Yorkshire and Harrogate, South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw, Lincolnshire, Leicestershire and Rutland, Birmingham and Solihull, Milton Keynes, Dorset, Coventry and Warwickshire are being marked to shut or to move substantial distances.

A week ago the Royal College of Midwives’ annual report said maternity services across Britain could already reach “crisis point”, as more than a third of midwives are nearing retirement age.

The report said that more student midwives are needed to be trained as a “matter of urgency”...read more

 

NHS intensive care ‘at its limits’ because of staff shortages (The Guardian : 29 January 2017)

The NHS’s network of intensive care units is “at its limits” because they are overwhelmed by staff shortages and the sheer number of patients needing life-or-death care, senior doctors are warning in an unprecedented intervention.

Intensive care units (ICUs) are becoming so full that patient safety is increasingly at risk because life-saving operations – including heart, abdominal and neurosurgery – are having to be delayed, the leaders of the specialist doctors who staff the units have told the Guardian.

“Intensive care is at its limits in terms of capacity and struggles to maintain adequate staffing levels,” said Dr Carl Waldmann, the dean of the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine (FICM).

“It is important that bed occupancy rates do not exceed 85% in order to ensure there is capacity for emergencies. The reality is that many units are quickly reaching 100% capacity whenever there is excessive hospital activity,” he added...read more

 

More than 7,000 nurses could face axe under secret NHS plans (The Telegraph: 16 January 2017)

More than 7,000 nurse posts could be axed from NHS hospitals across the country despite a mounting Accident & Emergency crisis, new plans reveal.

Every area has been ordered to draw up meaures to save £22bn and reorganise health services in order to meet rising demand from an ageing population.

But new documents suggest that the proposals could result in the loss of more than 17,000 staff by 2020 - including 7,300 nurses and midwives.

Last night senior nurses said the implications for safety were “truly frightening” with widespread shortages of staff already in overstretched hospitals.

The forecasts, seen by Health Service Journal, also reveal that the plans rely on a dramatic reversal in trends which have seen casualty units under unprecedented pressure.

While A&E attendances across England have risen by 4.5 per cent and emergency admissions by 3.5 per cent in the past 12 months, the plans rely on a 4.2 per cent fall in attendances, and a 0.8 per cent drop in admissions.

Health authorities across England have been ordered to draw up 44 “sustainability and transformation plans” (STPs) to tackle rising pressures on the health service.

The controversial measures will see swingeing bed cuts in many parts of the country, and widespread closures of Accident & Emergency departments....read more

 

Over a third of GPs in Scotland plan to retire in the next five years (British Medical Association: 13 December 2016

RCM warns against permanently altering midwife roles to plug staff gaps (National Health Executive: 12 December 2016)

Overwhelmed’ social worker who deflected from struggles sanctioned (Community Care: 9 December 2016)

One third of GP vacancies remain unfilled (British Medical Association: 5 December 2016)

Children’s trust grappling with staff shortages ahead of launch (Community Care: 2 December 2016)

Risk of doctor training being ‘eroded’ by high workloads (National Health Executive: 2 December 2016

Staff shortages now outweigh funding fears among NHS leaders (The Nursing Times: 29 November 2016)

South coast community trust warned over staffing levels (The Nursing Times: 23 November 2016)

NHS draws up plans to swap high grade nurses with less qualified staff (The Telegraph: 17 November 2016) 

GP closures could leave 5 million people without access to local practice (The Independent: 5 November 2016)

Number of NHS mental health nurses has fallen by 15% under Tories (The Guardian: 1 November 2016

600 GP practices at risk of closure, says RCGP (Pulse: 19 September 2016

Seven-day NHS: Labour demands inquiry as leak reveals crisis warning (The Guardian: 23 August 2016)

Secret documents reveal official concerns over 'seven-day NHS' plans (The Guardian: 22 August 2016)

Hospital doctors ‘miss signs of illness’ because of chronic staff shortages (The Guardian: 20 August 2016

Nurse shortage puts children's mental health plan ‘at risk’ (Nursing Times: 19 August 2016)

Cuts to health visitors could have ‘irredeemable’ effects on obesity and mental health (National Health Executive: 17 August 2016

Hundreds of adult nurse training places expected to be left unfilled (Nursing Times:5 August 2016)

 

Bursaries for student nurses will end in 2017, government confirms (The Guardian: 21 July 2016)

Jeremy Hunt to impose new contract on junior doctors (The Guardian: 6 July 2016

Unions attack ‘ill-informed’ bursary reform plans (Nursing Times: 1 July 2016

Brexit 'will make NHS staff shortages worse' (BBC News: 30 June 2016)

The other NHS crisis: the overworked nurses who are leaving in despair (The Guardian: 25 June 2016

More school nurses needed to tackle childhood mental health crisis (Royal College of Nursing: 19 June 2016

GP vacancy rates at highest recorded with one in eight positions unfilled (Pulse: 1 June 2016)

Staff shortages cited as factor in delayed discharge (Nursing Times: 26 May 2016

Economists claim there will be a 6% drop in student numbers after bursary scrapped (Nursing Times: 25 May 2016)

Why has the NHS deficit ballooned? One word: understaffing (The Guardian: 20 May 2016)

'Almost half' of junior doctors 'will quit the NHS' if contract is imposed (Pulse: 17 May 2016)

90% of GP trainees to shun full-time clinical work (Pulse: 5 May 2016)

GPs still in favour of mass resignation despite support package (Pulse: 29 April 2016)

NHS looks to India for GPs in attempt to make up shortfall (The Guardian: 7 April 2016)

Staff shortages spark CQC warning for mental health trust (The Nursing Times: 23 March 2016

Junior doctors to withdraw emergency care in escalation of action (Pulse: 23 March 2016

Hospital shuts beds after CQC raises staffing ratio concerns (HSJ: 21 March 2016)

Alarm raised over trust's 'risky' proposal to run A&E without specialist consultants (HSJ: 21 March 2016)

Health minister admits Government risks not delivering on GP recruitment goal (Pulse: 21 March 2016)

700 community staff to be transferred twice in months (HSJ: 18 March 2016)

Hospital staffing crisis as 40% of consultant posts remain vacant (The Guardian: 15 March 2016

Warning overseas recruitment is only a 'stop gap' for nurse shortages (Nursing Times: 10 March 2016)

Health trusts reveal thousands of doctor and nursing positions lie vacant (The Independent: 29 February 2016

Junior doctors defy health secretary with three 48-hour strikes (The Guardian: 23 February 2016

NHS Bosses Plan to sell Temp Agency (The Morningstar Online: 23 February 2016)

NHS staff survey: more staff working extra hours (HSJ: 23 February 2016)

We're not surprised half our psychologist colleagues are depressed (The Guardian: 18 February 2016)

Implement junior doctor contract or lose funding, hospital bosses warned (Pulse: 17 February 2016)

The number of doctors applying to work abroad surged by 1,000 per cent on the day Jeremy Hunt imposed new contract (The Independent: 17 February 2016

Liverpool NHS jobs face the axe because of community health funding cuts (Liverpool Echo: 17 February 2016)

Seven-day NHS may not cut death rates, say Hunt's own officials (The Guardian: 16 February 2016)

Revealed: GP training targets in doubt as applications tumble 5% (Pulse: 10 February 2016)

Higher number of HCAs linked with increased mortality, says study (HSJ: 9 February 2016)

Hospital death rates rise if fewer nurses are on wards, says new research (The Independent: 9 February 2016)

Junior doctors' strike to go ahead next week after talks fail (Pulse: 1 February 2016)

Mass GP resignations 'likely' as union urges LMCs to back crisis conference vote (GP Online: 27 January 2016)

More than a quarter of trusts asked to breach agency cap (HSJ: 26 January 2016)

NICE experts called for minimum staff ratios in leaked guidance (HSJ: 20 Janaury 2016

A&E departments may be too short-staffed 'almost half the time', says report (Independent: 20 January 2016)

Industrial action: junior doctors provide emergency-only care (BMA: 12 January 2016)

All NHS staff support the junior doctors’ strike action (The Guardian: 12 January 2016)

London nurse shortage 'critical' as vacancies rise to 10,000 (Nursing Times: 7 January 2016)

GPs under 50 leaving profession due to fear of burnout, NHS study finds (Pulse: 7 January 2016)

Junior doctors and Government to hold fresh conciliation talks (Pulse: 6 January 2016)

New wave of practice closures could mean 25,000 patients lose their GP (Pulse: 6 January 2016)

Directors to review NICE chief's decision not to release staffing guidance (Nursing Times: 5 January 2016)

Junior doctors in England to strike next week after talks break down (The Guardian: 4 January 2016)

Higher ratio of nurses per hospital bed linked to fewer patient deaths (Nursing Times: 18 December 2015)

Half of GPs willing to resign NHS contracts (Pulse: 10 December 2015)

Number of ambulance staff quitting almost DOUBLES leaving NHS facing crisis (The Mirror: 10 December 2015)

Almost half of junior doctors left NHS after foundation training (The Guardian 5 December 2015)

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