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Nurses struggling to cope with demand, MPs say

Nurses are overstretched, struggling to cope with demand, unable to leave work on time or take breaks, a House of Commons Health Select Committee report has found.

The report also found that moves to train new nurses had had a detrimental effect on retraining the current workforce.

The committee’s second report on the nursing workforce recommended that the chief nursing officer for England write to all directors of nursing asking them to confirm whether their nurses were able to complete handovers without routinely staying late, and whether they had time to take breaks.

It also said Health Education England should reverse cuts to nurses’ continuing professional development (CPD) budgets, and that funding allocated to NHS trusts should be specifically ring-fenced for CPD for nurses. In addition, specific funding should be made available to support CPD for nurses working in the community, where some of the most significant shortages of nurses are.

Royal College of Nursing chief executive and general secretary, Janet Davies, welcomed the report.

“We echo the report’s analysis that there are two main reasons for the high level of nurses quitting the profession — firstly, extremely difficult working conditions, and secondly, significant cuts to continuing professional development,” she said.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2018.20204316

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