Tag Archives: nurses

It’s nurses and midwives who really need our support

 

The ongoing junior doctors strike has unfortunately focused the attention of the public and the media away from the plight of nurses and midwives. I believe this group deserves much more sympathy.

Nurses and midwives, while not required to study for as long as doctors, nevertheless have to complete a degree course. Nurses’ standard hours are usually 37.5 to 40 hours per week and many work extra nights, weekends and evenings to earn enough to provide for themselves and their families. A Royal College of Nursing report from 2015 found that 35% of nurses have to work 12 hour shifts.

Unlike junior doctors  they are more likely to have to go home on public transport than jump into a car after a night shift. Even those  nurses and midwives who can afford a car are often required to pay for parking in hospitals, at a cost of up to £600 a year, while the Chief Executive has their nominated free parking space.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 29 Comments

Kirsty Williams blasts cuts to student nurses’ financial support

One of the worst elements of the Governemnt’s Comprehensive Spending Review was the proposals to cut bursaries for student nurses. This is particularly reprehensible given that nursing students spend so much of their time actually working on wards. In fact, there are many wards that would buckle under the pressure if they weren’t there.

Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Kirsty Williams, who has led the way in proposing a bill that would guarantee safe nurse staffing levels in Wales, has blasted the proposals and written to health secretary Jeremy Hunt to express her concerns. She said:

The UK already has a shortage of nurses; it’s outrageous that the Tories are now scrapping the valuable support available to student nurses. This will likely only exacerbate the problem by putting people off training to be a nurse.

This ill thought-out decision will badly impact student numbers in England, which would then no doubt have consequences for Wales’ ability to recruit too.

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 7 Comments
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