Health trust that manages Central Middlesex and Northwick Park Hospital has highest nurse vacancies in London
PUBLISHED: 10:37 08 January 2016 | UPDATED: 10:50 08 January 2016
The health trust that manages Central Middlesex and Northwick Park Hospitals has the highest vacancies for nurses in London, according to a new report.
Research published by The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) showed the vacancy rate for nurses at the London North West Healthcare NHS Trust (LNWH) stood at 30 per cent – the highest in the city.
LNWH, which also manages St Marks and Ealing Hospitals, holds the top spot with South London Mental Health NHS Trust.
The figures for the report were obtained from Freedom of Information requests.
RCN said that historic cuts to training places, plus the ongoing pay freeze imposed by the government, mean many London trusts are unable to find as many permanent staff as they need.
They added employers have to choose between putting patients at risk by running wards short of staff, or turning to expensive solutions like temporary agency staff or recruiting overseas.
Bernall Bussue, RCN London regional director, said: “London faces a critical shortage of registered nursing staff. This new research shows 10,000 vacant nursing posts in London, a rate of around 17pc. London needs more nurses.
“The problem is partly down to shortsighted workforce planning which saw training posts cut in the past, meaning there aren’t enough home grown nurses coming through the system.
“Most importantly, the ongoing pay freeze imposed by the Government means that nursing staff increasingly just can’t afford to live and work in London. Pay has run 10pc below inflation since 2010.
“The government urgently needs to give nursing staff a pay rise at a level which helps them settle in the capital for the long term, before staffing shortages start to damage the quality of care which London’s patients receive.”
A LNWH spokeswoman disputed the figures published in the report.
She said: “Our current nurse vacancy rate is 21pc and we have well-developed plans in place to reduce this.”