RNs - England

Nurses' job fears after hospital shuts ward

Northern Echo, July 2, 2007 Nurses from a hospital ward which closed on Friday are reporting for work this morning without jobs to go to. The 11-strong team from ward nine at Bishop Auckland General Hospital have been told they cannot be allocated new posts because they have lodged a grievance procedure against management. A grievance meeting is scheduled for Thursday. One nurse said: "They have asked for two volunteers to work on a day ward but they haven't said where the rest will go. ..." Nurses

Hospital taking on 80 nurses

Express & Star, June 30, 2007 An extra 80 permanent nurses are being recruited at a Black Country hospital in a bid to cut a £3 million bill for agency staff, health bosses revealed today.Other efficiency savings will have to be made at Russells Hall Hospital in Dudley as the trust bids for foundation status from the Department of Health, meaning it will have more freedom to manage its finances independently. News of the recruitment drive will be a major boost for trainees across the Black Country, who had been told 75 per cent of students would struggle to find jobs. In February, 15 newly-qualified nurses said they felt “cheated” after they learned they would have to compete with more than 50 others for Russells Hall jobs. Now, cutting the £3 million wage drain spent on agency nurses has been identified as a key priority, sparking a major drive to recruit around 80 nurses. ... Hospital

Stress 'harms nurses' sex lives'

BBC News, May 28, 2007 Almost half of nurses feel their sex lives are damaged by the emotional stress of their job, a poll suggests. Nursing Times magazine surveyed almost 2,000 nurses, and found 70% said they suffered from physical or mental health problems linked to work-related stress. Some 44% said their sex life was suffering as a result and a quarter said they had started drinking more. Nursing Times blamed the pressure of financial deficits and the threat of job cuts in the NHS. ... Stress

200 MPs back nurses over pay row

Press Association, May 28, 2007 Nearly 200 MPs, including former ministers, have joined calls for the Government to give nurses this year's pay award in full, instead of the below-inflation increase it is currently proposing. It comes as the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) is taking the unprecedented step of balloting 300,000 nurses working in the NHS, on whether they would be prepared to support a ballot for industrial action. Nurses are infuriated that their 2.5% pay increase this year will be in two stages: a 1.5% pay rise from April followed by further 1% rise in November. ... 200

Hospital theatre nurses on strike

BBC News, May 21, 2007 Operating theatre nurses at Barnsley hospital are staging a 24-hour strike over changes to their jobs. Managers want to reduce cover at night and plan to downgrade some theatre staff as they seek to cut the annual wages bill by £1.5m. They said the nursing structure was "top-heavy" but the GMB union described the plans as "an insult" to staff. Hopes of a deal evaporated at the weekend as talks between managers and GMB union officials stalled. Joan Keane, the regional organiser of the GMB union for health workers, said: "GMB members employed at Barnsley Hospital are at the point where they can't take any more and recently, over the past couple of years, we've had new pay and conditions imposed. These people are now effectively being asked to take a pay cut, but do the same job." ... Hospital

Robotic nurses set for wards

Sun, May 21, 2007
Robots could soon replace nurses by performing jobs like dispensing drugs, taking temperatures and cleaning up wards. Health ministers say the machines will make caring for patients cheaper and safer - after trials showed robots make fewer mistakes. A Department of Health spokesman said: “One robot being developed has an arm like C-3PO in Star Wars. It can mix cancer drugs at an amazing speed.” Prototypes are being tested in hospitals in Newcastle upon Tyne, Warwick and London.

Nurses to be balloted over action

Nurses are to be balloted over whether they want a national vote on whether to take industrial action over pay. BBC News, May 16, 2007 Nurses in England, Wales and Northern Ireland have been offered a 1.5% pay rise followed by an extra 1% later. The government says this is fair and affordable but nurses want the 2.5% immediately - as happened in Scotland. The Royal College of Nursing ballot will ask NHS members whether they want to be balloted on what would be the first ever national industrial action. The RCN met on Wednesday to discuss their options after an emergency motion passed unanimously at the RCN conference in April called on the government to implement a full 2.5% pay rise as recommended by the independent pay review body. ... Nurses

NHS lost nearly 7,000 nurses in 2006

Healthcare Republic, April 27, 2007 The 2006 NHS workforce census has shown that almost 7,000 nurses left the NHS last year. The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has said this confirms their warnings about the impact of deficit led cuts. The census shows an increase in full time equivalent capacity (FTE) for doctors and nurses and a fall in managers, with an overall reduction in headcount of 17,000 since September 2005. The DoH has said that despite the fall in headcount, clinical capacity continues to increase as FTEs go up. ... NHS

NHS workforce shrinks by 17,000

But there are more doctors and nurses. Mike Berry, Personnel Today, April 27, 2007 There has been an overall reduction of 17,000 in the number of people working in the NHS in the year to September 2006, official figures show. Most of the posts lost were in administration, managerial and health support positions. But the number of full-time doctors and nurses working has increased by about 5,500, figures from the NHS Information Centre revealed. Despite the fall in headcount, the NHS still employs more than 279,000 more people than it did in 1997 - with 1,095,164 people in full-time posts. ... NHS

RCN votes for action in wake of pay offer

Personnel Today, April 24, 2007 The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has threatened to break new ground and strike over pay for the first time since its inception in 1916. Delegates at the union's annual conference in Harrogate last week voted by 95% for nationwide action if the government did not revise its decision to award nurses a below-inflation pay rise. Chancellor Gordon Brown's decision to have a staged 2.5% rise, with a 1.5% increase this month and an extra 1% from November, met with anger as it effectively amounts to 1.9% over the year. More than 10,000 nurses have already written letters of complaint to MPs about the pay decision. ... RCN

NHS in crisis

Nurses' fury at cuts and attacks on jobs. Roger Shrives, The Socialist, April 19, 2007 The most striking part of the RCN report claimed that more than 22,300 jobs in the NHS have been lost in the last 18 months. Almost three-quarters of newly qualified nurses have so far been unable to find jobs. The government's so-called 'reforms' have produced massive debts and deficits totalling £1.32 billion. The financial crisis has forced community hospitals to close, especially in rural areas. It has hit patient services and lengthened waiting lists. Of course the government says that the RCN are exaggerating - that only 1,446 workers have been made compulsorily redundant and that the NHS is employing more workers than under the Tories. But the RCN figures tie in with the Office of National Statistics figures that show 11,000 fewer people working for the NHS in the last quarter of last year. It also fits in with NHS workers' experience that even experienced staff are being made redundant by cash-strapped trusts. The RCN is calling for investment in the NHS to be increased up to the European spending average. ... NHS

Lost £150M angers pay-snub nurses

Victoria Fletcher, Daily Express, April 19,2007 Nurses condemned the Government yesterday for handing consultants a 27 per cent pay rise while ignoring their claims for better wages. Hospital consultants received the massive pay increase over three years while being required to work fewer hours. A new report revealed that the salary increase has cost £150million more than expected and helped to push some NHS trusts into debt. This compares to the staggered pay increase of just 2.5 per cent offered to nurses that on Tuesday led them to call for industrial action. Last night the new head of the Royal College of Nursing said he was angry with the Government for ignoring both nurses and other healthcare workers when it came to pay. ... Lost

Why NHS nurses may back action

Jane Dreaper, BBC News, April 19, 2007 Just over a year ago, a seasoned commentator on social policy advised me not to get too excited about Patricia Hewitt addressing the nurses' annual gathering. They're a deferential lot, he said. I believed him. By then, I'd already attended the RCN Congress that took place a few weeks before the general election in 2005. Delegates had listened patiently as politicians from the three main parties spoke at a hustings. The main emotion during those few days came from a young nurse whose voice broke, as she talked about the violence she'd experienced from people attending her accident and emergency department. ... Why

Football stars back nurses pay campaign

Nic Fleming, Telegraph.co.uk, April 19, 2007 Dozens of Premiership footballers have agreed to donate a day's wages to a campaign to highlight the low pay and poor prospects of Britain's nurses. So far 73 footballers, including the entire Reading and Fulham squads, have pledged cash ahead of the official May Day for Nurses on May 13. Thierry Henry, of Arsenal, Ryan Giggs, of Manchester United player and Portsmouth goalkeeper David James are among the leading stars who are taking part. Dr Noreena Hertz, a live aid organiser and Third World campaigner, yesterday told the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) conference in Harrogate she hoped to sign up all 556 Premiership players by May 13 - the last day of the Premiership season. ... Football

Nurses will fight this insult to injury

The decision to withhold nurses' pay rise is shameful, and must be reversed or nurses will take industrial action, says Dr Peter Carter. Guardian, April 19, 2007 This week in Harrogate the Royal of College of Nursing held our annual congress. Thousands of nurses from right across the UK brought their experience, their expertise and their enthusiasm to this landmark event. And I use the word "landmark" not for reasons of exaggeration, but because our 2007 congress was the time and the place where nurses announced to the world that the rules of the game have changed. Nurses made that historic announcement because they have reached their limit. The NHS financial crisis, reform overload, jobs losses and service cuts have all taken their toll on the members that the RCN represents and the million patients a day that they care for. ... Nurses

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