Analysis

Exclusive: The false job titles that are undermining trust in nurses

Thousands of unregistered NHS support staff have the word ‘nurse’ in their job titles, misleading patients and raising safety concerns, a Nursing Standard investigation reveals

Thousands of unregistered NHS support staff have the word nurse in their job titles, misleading patients and raising safety concerns, a Nursing Standard investigation reveals

  • Patients are being misled into thinking unqualified staff are registered nurses
  • Employers suspected of using substitute titles to cover staff shortages and save money
  • NHS Improvement urges trusts to conduct reviews and use appropriate job titles

Many NHS trusts in England are using misleading job titles for staff, which nursing experts warn is a risk to patient safety.

Thousands of unregistered support staff in Agenda for Change (AfC) pay bands 1-4 have job titles containing the word nurse, a Nursing Standard investigation reveals.

The investigation, covering 143 NHS acute, mental health and community trusts, found that 93% had unregistered support staff in post with titles containing the word nurse.

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