According to analysis undertaken by Nuffield Trust, the number of NHS GP referrals to hospitals has increased by 16% since 2009, with Accident & Emergency admissions having increased by 18% over the same period. However, Hospital Trusts have not been able to increase staffing levels to match this increasing demand, with full time nursing posts only increasing by 1.1% since 2009.
To meet the ever growing demand on it’s resources, the NHS has spent billions of pounds on agency staff to cater for demand, rather than training and employing full time staff.
Indeed, Candace Imison of Nuffield Trust, highlighted the cost of private nurses had cost the NHS an estimated “almost £1 billion last year alone.”
This is money therefore leaving the NHS rather than being reinvested in training new staff. Dame Donna Kinnair, of the Royal College of Nursing, lamented that the “meagre increase in vital nursing staff was hard to understand and argued that it reflected recruitment failures in earlier years.” She went on state:
“The government must commit to train and retain more nurses to ensure patients receive the care they deserve.”
To counteract this growing problem, the Government is looking to increase the number of training places for nurses. However, one potential difficulty which may deter applicants is that trainees will need to fund their training fees, whereas current student nurses and midwives receive an annual bursary from the NHS whilst they are studying, which they do not have to pay back.
Moosa-Duke Solicitors are concerned about the potential impact on patient care if the increasing demand on the NHS is not matched by increased recruitment.
Moosa-Duke Solicitors invites anyone to contact us if they believed they have been failed by the NHS. Feel free to contact us for a no obligation discussion on 0116 254 7456.