Commenting on the Royal College of Nursing’s 'Safe and Effective Staffing' report, Nuffield Trust Chief Executive Nigel Edwards said:
“This report reveals what was sadly all too predictable: NHS staff and their patients are bearing the brunt of an abject and long-term failure to plan the nursing workforce.
“Successive governments have not equipped the NHS to meet the changing needs of patients, instead allowing the size and make-up of the future workforce to be determined by drives to hold down health budgets. This short-sighted approach has led us to the situation so powerfully described in the RCN’s report.
“As well as tackling workforce shortages through attracting nurses to the profession, it is vital to hang on to the committed and talented staff we already have. Nurses are the largest professional group in the NHS but that is not an excuse for treating them as interchangeable units. Yet the report reveals a worrying disregard for the existing nursing workforce, making it likely – and understandable – that many nurses will vote with their feet."