Nursing Shortages and Working Hours: New Survey

Management Services, November 1996 | Go to article overview

Nursing Shortages and Working Hours: New Survey


THE supply and demand of registered nurses may be out of balance, according to evidence in the 1996 annual survey for the Royal College of Nursing, published recently by the independent Institute for Employment Studies. Ian Seccombe, senior research fellow at IES and co-author of the report, stated:

"The number of registered nurses in the NHS has remained static during the 1990s, despite increased NHS activity levels and rising patient-dependency. Over the same period, the numbers employed in private nursing homes, independent hospitals and in GP practices have risen sharply. Meanwhile, intakes to nurse education have dropped by a third." In June 1996 the NHS Executive recognised that '... current training levels are insufficient to meet future demand for qualified nurses'. However, the increases announced this summer will not boost the numbers continued on page 6 continued from page 4 qualifying until the next century. Meanwhile as the nursing workforce continues to age, retirements will increase, leaving fewer nurses to meet rising demand. Ian Seccombe commented:

"With 20 percent of nurses now aged over 50, losses to retirement are likely to increase substantially in the next few years". …

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Nursing Shortages and Working Hours: New Survey
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