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Nurses reveal concern over staff levels

7 February 2011

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More than 80% of nurses in the NHS believe poor staffing levels are putting patients at risk.

Some 83% of nurses polled by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) said they thought poor staffing compromised patient safety.

Meanwhile just 7% said they thought there were enough nurses at present while 80% disagreed and 13% were unsure.

Recruitment freezes and unfilled posts are also adding to the pressure, they said.

There are fears that care may be “dumbed down” as a result of not having the right number and balance of staff.

The RCN is collating figures on the number of job losses at NHS trusts across England.

At the last count, 27,000 jobs had been earmarked for cuts.

This includes redundancies, posts not being filled when staff retire or leave, and a diluting of the skill mix (balance of fully qualified staff with less-qualified assistants).

Of those questioned in the survey, 46% said that there had been unfilled vacancies in their workplace for more than six months, while 40% said there was currently a recruitment freeze.

Copyright © Press Association 2011

Royal College of Nursing

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