Two thirds of nurses consider quitting due to stress
Nearly two thirds of nurses have mulled over the idea of quitting their job in the previous year because of stress, a new survey has discovered. A poll of 10,000 staff conducted by The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) found that 62% have considered leaving their job in the last 12 months. The Tory-led coalition have thus far abolished 5,000 nursing posts in just three years as government attempt to reduce NHS costs by a £20billion by 2015. The job losses were shown in figures released last week from the Health and Social Care Information Centre. This has caused current staff to become overburdened as the extra workload is piled on them, and difficulty in delivering the quality care that they desire. In fact, over 80% of respondents stated their workload had risen in the last 12 months, and 61% said they had been too busy to give the care they had wanted. The situation has clearly deteriorated since the last survey was conducted in 2011. Back then, it was found that 54% of nurses had thought about quitting in the 12 months following David Cameron’s election as Prime Minister in 2010, with 68% reporting an increase in workload and 55% said they were too busy to give the care they wanted. Interestingly – and damning for the coalition government – the previous survey before the 2011 one showed that just 24% of nurses had contemplated quitting in the last 12 months. This of course was when Labour were in power. However, it is not just longer hours and heavy workload that is causing the stress as between 2010 and 2012 nurses were hit with a pay freeze, only to receive the news of the 1% cap on rises from April this year until 2016. Therefore, it is no wonder stress levels have gone up in the NHS and the results from the RCN survey should come as little surprise. Rachael McIlroy, from the RCN said: “Salaries have remained static while household bills are rising, and people are finding it really hard. Extra unpaid hours is an issue because there are too few staff, and job security is an acute concern. The pay freeze, staff shortages and negativity following the Francis inquiry means nurses feel hard done by.” The Francis inquiry showed countless examples of disgraceful poor care and neglect by certain nurses at Stafford Hospital, which led to a government commissioning a review into suspiciously high mortality rates at 14 hospitals. Then following this, a damning report spearheaded by NHS medical chief Sir Bruce Keogh stressed it was the “inadequate numbers of nursing staff” primarily to blame for the problems.