Survey reiterates the morale mantra, but Hunt still not listening

A new survey by Nursing Standard and the Sunday Mirror newspaper reinforces the obvious reason why morale is poor: nurses simply do not feel valued, writes Graham Scott
Jeremy Hunt

It has almost become a cliché to say that morale among nurses is at 'rock bottom', given the number of surveys over the years that have come to this conclusion.

The latest, conducted by Nursing Standard in conjunction with the Sunday Mirror newspaper, is no different, with almost two in three of the 3,100 respondents saying morale in their workplace is low or worse.

There is an obvious reason why morale is poor at present: nurses simply do not feel valued. Their pleas for more staff to ensure a safe standard of care continue to be ignored, while pay levels continue to be suppressed almost a decade after the financial crash.

Set an example 

None of the government's pet projects are based on evidence that they will be successful. Charging tuition fees seems unlikely to increase the number of nurses in training, and there is no way of knowing whether nursing associates will have a positive impact.

Yet there is compelling evidence that employing more, better qualified, registered nurses leads directly to better patient outcomes and an enhanced patient experience. It is not only nurses who have been saying that for years.

Last week, health secretary Jeremy Hunt told England's most senior nurses that they must listen to those who speak out, in the interest of patient safety. If only he and his ministerial colleagues would set an example by doing just that.

For more on the survey results click here