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As costs rise, 60% of nurses in England turn to credit or savings.

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According to recent study, six out of ten NHS nurses in England have turned to credit or savings in the last year to help them deal with the rising expense of living. The results highlighted the severe financial strain that some nurses were under, forcing them to cut back on their energy use and even skip meals. Concerns over the longevity of the NHS personnel are raised by the fact that many are forced to work additional shifts in order to make ends meet.

In a study of almost 11,000 nurses, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) brought attention to the stress brought on by what they refer to as a “sustained attack on nursing” by the government. Since 2010, nurses’ real incomes have decreased by 25%. This is mostly because throughout the previous ten years, pay freezes and increases below inflation have occurred.

In line with the survey:

  • For living expenditures, 60% of nurses have had to rely on credit or savings.
  • In comparison to a year ago, 77% felt worse off.
  • 43% of respondents say that having money issues has affected their mental well-being.
  • 68% of people had to use gas and power rations.
  • 32% of people believe their physical health has been impacted by financial difficulties.

The general secretary and chief executive of the RCN, Prof Pat Cullen, voiced alarm at the state of affairs, pointing out that nurses are working incredibly hard while facing severe financial hardship. The most recent wage increase for nurses is considered inadequate, as it is just 5% for 2023–2024; this is especially true given the substantial number of open nursing positions in England.

Nursing policy specialist Prof. Dame Anne Marie Rafferty emphasized the disproportionate effect on female nurses, who frequently shoulder the combined weight of demands from both the home and the workplace. She warned of the “hollowing out” of the NHS as a result of elderly nurses retiring early from exhaustion and workload, and new nurses leaving.

A Department of Health spokesman responded by stressing the government’s dedication to helping NHS employees and highlighted plans to increase workforce size and recent wage increases. Nonetheless, given the continuous financial difficulties, worries regarding the sustainability of the nursing employment remain.

The predicament facing nurses in England highlights the pressing need for all-encompassing solutions to guarantee the stability of the healthcare system and address their financial well-being.

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