Responding to a report from the Royal College of Nursing, revealing a 17% nursing vacancy rate in London, Labour’s London Assembly Health Spokesperson, Dr Onkar Sahota AM said:
“It’s staggering that the Health Secretary has allowed London’s nursing shortage to reach this level, especially as the warning signs have been there for a long time.
“We’ve seen a devastating mix of reductions in nurse training posts and bursaries, and low morale brought about by increasing work pressures. In North West London NHS Trust, where we have seen the most disruptive reorganisation of local health services, we have 30% fewer nurses than we need. It’s little wonder that fewer people are attracted to nursing and that those who are in the profession want out.
“With the high cost of living in the capital becoming increasingly unaffordable, it’s inevitable that you’ll struggle to attract and retain nurses and other key workers.
“The Government and Mayor have to get serious about addressing this worrying problem. That means improving funding and support for those that want to train, it means providing opportunities for long term development, and it means addressing rising work pressures brought about by savage cuts.”