Comment

Jane Bates: Nurses are rapidly becoming an endangered species

Brexit and the 1% pay cap are putting the future of nurses and the NHS at risk. The situation is critical and the time to act is now, says Jane Bates.
endangered

Brexit and the 1% pay cap are putting the future of nurses and the NHS at risk. The situation is critical and the time to act is now, says Jane Bates

Along with my fellow wildlife enthusiasts, I am concerned about the decline in the number of butterflies. We can only hope that the dry and warm weather at the end of June will have boosted their numbers.

Butterflies are not the only creatures under threat though. With our exit from the European Union and the 1% pay cap still in place, we only have a fraction of the nurses the country needs to ensure a healthy future for the NHS, and the nation.

Irreplaceable

We are an endangered species, folks. Soon people with swanky binoculars and expensive cameras will be searching us out. Quick! Over here! Oh no,

...

Brexit and the 1% pay cap are putting the future of nurses and the NHS at risk. The situation is critical and the time to act is now, says Jane Bates 

endangered
Picture: iStock

Along with my fellow wildlife enthusiasts, I am concerned about the decline in the number of butterflies. We can only hope that the dry and warm weather at the end of June will have boosted their numbers.  

Butterflies are not the only creatures under threat though. With our exit from the European Union and the 1% pay cap still in place, we only have a fraction of the nurses the country needs to ensure a healthy future for the NHS, and the nation. 

Irreplaceable

We are an endangered species, folks. Soon people with swanky binoculars and expensive cameras will be searching us out. ‘Quick!  Over here!  Oh no, she’s gone. I’m sure I saw one.  It was just a flash of blue. A female I think. They’re never still enough for us to get photographic evidence.’ 

An endangered species has to be treated with special consideration. We need a favourable habitat, an absence of stress, and encouragement. When a population is in decline, you nurture the remnant, you don’t beat them with a stick for being overweight or for having the temerity to voice their opinions. You don’t make conditions so hard for them that they cannot survive.   

This is a critical situation and there are no quick fixes, because some things cannot be replaced. All those years of experience will be lost rather than passed on to the next generation, if there ever is one. Mr Hunt, Mr Hammond – the time to act is now. 


Jane Bates is an ophthalmic nurse in Hampshire 

Want to read more?

Subscribe for unlimited access

Enjoy 1 month's access for £1 and get:

  • Full access to nursing standard.com and the Nursing Standard app
  • Monthly digital edition
  • RCNi Portfolio and interactive CPD quizzes
  • RCNi Learning with 200+ evidence-based modules
  • 10 articles a month from any other RCNi journal

This article is not available as part of an institutional subscription. Why is this?

Jobs