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NHS nurses say they can’t sleep at night because of money worries

Posted on 16/11/2017 by

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A nurse protesting against the British government’s pay cap on public sector workers in September 

Worries about money after years of government pay cuts are keeping nurses up at night, a new poll suggests. One in five nurses have said they can’t afford to pay their bills, according to the Royal College of Nursing survey. 

Trans woman says she doesn't need to tell one night stands about her past Nurses are now turning to high interest payday loans in a desperate bid to cover everyday expenses, with more than one in 20 taking one out in the last year. 

One in four have borrowed money from friends or family and 23 percent now work at a second paid job to cover their bills. 

The poll – of 7,720 nurses from across the UK – found that 56 percent had been forced to cut back on food and travel costs, 11 percent couldn’t pay their rent on time and almost three percent had relied on charities and food banks. Financial stress meant that almost 40 percent of NHS nurses are currently looking for a new job – that number is almost double the 24 percent seen 10 years ago. 

The government has now agreed to scrap a pay cap on public sector workers for 2018  

The College said it was ‘ludicrous’ that the NHS is losing staff because they cannot afford to pay their bills on their current wages. It has released the findings of the poll ahead of next week’s Budget, imploring Chancellor Philip Hammond to address the issue of public sector pay. RCN chief executive and general secretary Janet Davies said: ‘The shocking findings we’re highlighting today demonstrate just how severe the financial pressure on nursing staff has now become. NHS worker who said baby looked like a golliwog was an 'old school racist' ‘It is ludicrous that the health service is losing valuable highly-trained staff simply because they can’t pay the bills at the end of the month. ‘What people don’t realise is that a large part of the efficiency savings the NHS has managed to make have only come from hard-pressed staff having their pay reduced every year in real terms. ‘No wonder the health service is short of 40,000 nurses in England alone. 

‘The Chancellor must give a clear signal in the Budget next week that the Government will award an above-inflation pay rise to hard-pressed nursing staff in the NHS.’ 

Years of cuts have led 37 percent of NHS nurses to look for a new job.

Sara Gorton, head of health at the union Unison said NHS employees across the spectrum are struggling to survive on just their basic pay. ‘Cleaners, porters, paramedics, midwives, administrators and healthcare assistants have all gone without a proper pay rise for far too long,’ she said. The Royal College of Physicians has also called on the Chancellor to allocate more funds to health and social care. In a letter to Philip Hammond, the college wrote that the financial challenges facing the NHS and social care are ‘unprecedented’. 

‘Without sufficient investment in the NHS, social care and public health interventions, patients are at risk of avoidable harm and the future sustainability of the NHS is under threat.’ 

A Government spokeswoman said: ‘Public sector workers, including NHS staff, do a fantastic job and the Government is committed to ensuring they can continue to deliver world-class public services. ‘We have already confirmed that the across-the-board one percent public sector pay policy will no longer apply to pay awards for 2018-19. ‘Public sector pay packages will continue to recognise workers’ vital contributions, while also being affordable and fair to taxpayers as a whole.’

Source: Metro