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Nurses are working the equivalent of one day a week for nothing, research says

Nurses are working the equivalent of one day a week for nothing, according to a study.

Researchers from London Economics were commissioned by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) to look at pay in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland since 2010.

They found that the salary of an experienced nurse had fallen by 20% in real terms, based on a five-day week.

Experienced nurses in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland would need a nominal pay rise of 45% by 2024-25 just to return their salaries to levels seen in 2010-11 in real terms, the research said.

And such a pay rise would actually help the NHS save money in the long term, as it would be cheaper than hiring staff from overseas, according to the study.

Dr Gavan Conlon, who oversaw the research, said that bringing staff in from overseas costs approximately £16,900 more annually than retaining a nurse, while using agency workers costs around £21,300 more per year.

He said that about 32,000 nurses leave the NHS every year, many due to the failure of their pay to keep up with the rising cost of living.

The RCN is balloting its 300,000 members for strike action, calling for higher pay and an effort by government to fill the hundreds of thousands of nursing vacancies across the country.

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Source: Sky News, 28 October 2022


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