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Readers panel: Why do so many employers take no action when concerns about staffing levels are raised? 

In a recent 30,000-strong survey from the RCN, 44% of respondents said no action was taken when they raised concerns about staffing levels. Nursing Standard readers have their say. 

In a recent 30,000-strong survey from the RCN, 44% of respondents said no action was taken when they raised concerns about staffing levels. Nursing Standard readers have their say

Jessica Ross is an emergency department staff nurse

Staffing is a nationwide struggle, which suggests a systemic problem in the NHS. Trust bosses' hands must be tied to some extent for this to be such a large problem nationally. Nurses are conditioned to cope with difficult situations and our duty of care to our patients means we will push through, but when we show the ability to 'cope' with understaffing, this can easily become the norm. For the safety of our patients and ourselves, systemic change needs to happen.

Stephanie Cumming is a practice nurse and trainee advanced nurse practitioner in Warwickshire

Poor staffing levels contributed to my

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In a recent 30,000-strong survey from the RCN, 44% of respondents said no action was taken when they raised concerns about staffing levels. Nursing Standard readers have their say 

Jessica Ross is an emergency department staff nurse

Staffing is a nationwide struggle, which suggests a systemic problem in the NHS. Trust bosses' hands must be tied to some extent for this to be such a large problem nationally. Nurses are conditioned to cope with difficult situations and our duty of care to our patients means we will push through, but when we show the ability to 'cope' with understaffing, this can easily become the norm. For the safety of our patients and ourselves, systemic change needs to happen.


 Stephanie Cumming is a practice nurse and trainee advanced nurse practitioner in Warwickshire

Poor staffing levels contributed to my decision to leave acute care. Like many other hospital nurses, I was exhausted, disheartened and frustrated, and understaffing had become the norm. Funding may be a factor in trusts not addressing concerns about staffing levels, as many may feel they are not in a financial position to staff wards appropriately. But until this happens, trusts will continue to put nurses and patients at risk. The government must deal with this urgently.


Drew Payne (@drew_london) is a community staff nurse in north London 

We work in a culture of targets and regulation, with so much NHS care subject to these. The Department of Health capped agency budgets but refuses to set mandated staffing levels, meaning safe staffing can end up as a low priority for trusts. The number of registered nurses to fill these empty posts is getting smaller and smaller, yet prime minister Theresa May made no mention of the NHS staffing crisis in her recent Conservative Party conference speech in Manchester.


Liz Charalambous (@lizcharalambou) is a staff nurse and PhD student in Nottingham 

The sheer numbers of nurses who completed this survey demands urgent attention. Without a comprehensive strategy for nurse recruitment, including financial support for nursing students and a genuine government commitment to long-term investment in health and social care, any legislation will be as effective as rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic. Can trusts be blamed when the evidence shows that we are reaching a point where more nurses are leaving than entering the profession? I wonder if trusts are quickly running out of options.

 

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