It is outrageous that there are still significant cuts in education budgets and educational training for our community nurses
The Department of Health states that a shortage of more than 14,000 nurses by 2011 could cripple NHS organisations as they struggle to meet patient demand for services. This comes as no surprise with the recent developments in nursing, post deletions, redundancies and plans to stop the number of band 5 overseas nurses working in the UK.
If this is the case then why are nurses being forced out through redundancy and posts being deleted in the acute sector and primary care trusts?
Many trusts have been told to make huge savings. If patients' demands for service are to be met, contingency plans need to be put in place to review how we develop and retain our existing workforce and recruit more nurses into the profession.
Half our DN workforce will be retiring in the next five years, leaving the existing workforce depleted of experienced specialist trained qualified nurses.
It is outrageous that there are still significant cuts in education budgets and educational training for our community nurses. One option would be to be reinstate the training budget and consider other initiatives to recruit and encourage more nurses back into the profession.
The government's projected 2 per cent pay award will certainly not be enough of an incentive to resolve any of these issues and will not encourage our nursing workforce to feel valued, respected and be recognised for their work they currently do as frontline staff.
It's time the government took stock and reflected on its actions as a result of its policy reform.
Shirley Powell, Modern Matron