The Royal College of Nursing is using the results of its latest employment survey to pressurise the Government to increase pay for NHS workers. The poll found 6% of nurses have been forced to take out a high interest rate loan in the last year to meet their daily bills and day-to-day living expenses.
Meanwhile, one in four has borrowed money from friends, family or their bank, 23% have taken on an additional paid job and half did overtime to cover their bills and expenses, according to the survey of 7,720 nurses from across the UK.
Two in five of the nurses questioned said they have lost sleep over money worries.
Over the last year, 56% said they have been forced to cut back on food and travel costs, one in five struggled to pay gas and electricity bills, 11% had been late on rent or mortgage payments and 2.3% said they had used charities or food banks.
The RCN also found that 37% are currently seeking a new job, an increase from 24% 10 years ago.
Of these, more than half said they are looking for roles outside of the NHS, with 14% saying they were seeking jobs abroad.
Teresa Budrey, director of the RCN in the East of England, said: “There are nurses who have to use food banks to keep going, there are nurses that have second jobs, and many of them will do bank work so they will do extra hours for their employer under a nurse bank agreement.
“Equally there are some who do a second job away from nursing to enable them to have a break to recover their resilience to go back into the challenges of the nursing world.”
It was reported in this newspaper in July that there is a 10% shortfall in the number of nurses employed by the NHS in Suffolk, forcing health providers to rely on more expensive agency staff.
Meanwhile, Ipswich Hospital is taking trips to the Philippines in an attempt to recruit more nurses.
Sara Gorton, head of health at the union Unison said: “NHS employees as a whole 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.”
We are very proud to collaborate with Cavell Nurses Trust in a fundraising campaign to raise both money but most importantly urgency and awareness to tackling this national issue. Cavell Nurses’ Trust is a very active charity that provides help and financial support to UK nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants who are suffering hardship. Together with supporters like you, we can make a difference.