Healthcare trusts all over the UK are experiencing their largest shortage of nurses to date. With an increasing number of nurses leaving their positions and lesser nurses filling vacant opportunities, we are currently in a nurse shortage crisis. But, what's to blame? Is this shortage due to the sensitive nature of the job? The long hours? Or, could a financial issue be on our hands; salaries?
Since conducting a recent study here at Day Webster, we found that healthcare trusts which tend to pay a lower yearly salary are experiencing a huge increase in available job vacancies. For example, The University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust currently has a whopping 358 vacancies available for nurses. This might seem like an excellent advantage for recent nurse graduates in the area, but when you start to dig deeper to see just why there are so many vacancies, the numbers do the talking. Offering one of the lowest salaries in the UK, The University Hospital Southampton provide an average yearly salary of £26,457.40. This is still an excellent wage to kickstart a career with, but with trusts like the Sussex Community offering up to £7,000 more than this, it seems that nurses are leaving their low-paying trusts in search of a more comfortable way of life.
It’s not doom and gloom for all trusts, though. Research has found that the highest paying trust, Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, currently only have 4 full-time vacancies available. This is no surprise when you think about it, as all nurses will be itching to work in a trust with a salary as high as £49,743.05. In contrast, the lowest paying trust, Kent Community Health NHS Foundation, currently has 154.9 vacancies which are struggling to be filled. With an average yearly salary of just £20,196.40, this suggests that there is a correlation between salaries and vacancies available.
With a lack of nurses, our healthcare services are hanging by threads. The correlations seen between high-paying trusts and low-paying trusts are a huge indicator as to why the nurse shortage epidemic is causing a storm.
Of course, a large number of job vacancies are expected in larger trusts with a higher number of patients, but the alarming figures from the trusts which pay lower salaries is difficult to overlook. With both the announcement of Brexit and tough working hours encouraging nurses to work in other fields, salaries are just another red warning factor which goes into the nurse shortage mix.
With this thorough research suggesting that salaries are to blame for our rising nurse shortages, its time to start tackling the next steps. To start, the millions of pounds spent on agency nurses temporarily filling these vacancies could perhaps be used on increasing the salaries of our hard working healthcare specialists, instead. And, as always, it’s clear that more funding needs to be given to the NHS.
There’s a long way to go before nurse shortages are a distant memory, but with our research revealing a possible source of the problem, a positive future can be shaped. For more information on our research into salaries being to blame for nurse shortages, check out our brand new salary vs vacancies league table.
To find out how Day Webster can provide you with great rates of pay and first access to agency shifts across the UK click here