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Public say there are too few nurses, poll shows ahead of scrap the cap rally

Voters believe there are not enough nurses in the NHS and those that are in post are underpaid, according to a survey commissioned by the RCN.
scrap

Voters believe there are not enough nurses in the NHS and those who are in post are underpaid, according to a survey commissioned by the RCN.

The poll of 1,624 adults by YouGov, carried out on 31 August and 1 September, revealed that seven in 10 voters believe the NHS lacks adequate nursing staff.

It comes as around 2,000 nurses are expected to converge on Parliament Square in London today to protest the current public sector pay cap.

Actor Sir Tony Robinson and comedian Rob Delaney will address nurses, who have seen their pay fall in real terms by 14% since 2010.

Recruitment and retention

The RCN says the pay issue has affected recruitment and retention, with a shortage of 40,000 nurses in

Voters believe there are not enough nurses in the NHS and those who are in post are underpaid, according to a survey commissioned by the RCN.

scrap
A demonstration supporting the Scrap the Cap campaign outside
the Department of Health in June. Picture: Barry Newman

The poll of 1,624 adults by YouGov, carried out on 31 August and 1 September, revealed that seven in 10 voters believe the NHS lacks adequate nursing staff.

It comes as around 2,000 nurses are expected to converge on Parliament Square in London today to protest the current public sector pay cap.

Actor Sir Tony Robinson and comedian Rob Delaney will address nurses, who have seen their pay fall in real terms by 14% since 2010.

Recruitment and retention

The RCN says the pay issue has affected recruitment and retention, with a shortage of 40,000 nurses in England alone.

According to the poll, 73% of those surveyed believe there are too few nurses to provide safe care.

Other findings include:

  • 68% of respondents believe nurses are underpaid, including 58% who said they voted Conservative in the last general election.
  • More than half (57%) would be willing to pay more tax to make the NHS safer.

Out of touch

RCN general secretary Janet Davies said: 'The public can see the shortage of nurses for themselves. Ministers are significantly out of touch with public opinion. They should heed this warning, scrap the pay cap and help to recruit thousands more nurses for a safer NHS.'

She said experienced nursing staff were leaving in droves because they could not afford to stay.

'If the government fails to announce a change of direction in the budget, then industrial action by nursing staff immediately goes on the table,' she added.

In the last few days rumours that the pay cap will be lifted in the autumn budget have begun to surface, but there has as yet been no firm commitment to do so by the government.


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