It may become necessary for hospital to turn patients away this festive season after more than 1800 nurses resigned from the NHS over a period of two months.
The nursing staff level in Britain has fallen from 280765 during June, to 278924 during August. This is according to the latest official figures.
This has resulted in fears that hospitals will be so short-staffed that it may become necessary to refuse patients treatment.
More concerning news was given to health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, after the Health and Social Information Centre revealed that NHS matrons are also leaving.
Senior nurses play an extremely important role in patient safety.
The number of matrons has declined from 6399 to 5154 since David Cameron became Prime Minister in May 2010. In total, the number of senior NHS nurses has declined from 66832 during 2010, to 63458 during the current year.
According to Andy Burnham, Labour’s shadow health minister, these staff shortages could place many lives at risk. He warned that the loss of nursing staff threatened the standards of patient care. He added that around half of nurses state that their wards are dangerously understaffed as hospitals have to get rid of experienced nurses in a bid to save money.
Mr. Burnham said David Cameron has to ensure that hospitals have adequate senior staff to cope with the winter.
According to the Royal College of Nursing, senior staff are choosing to leave the NHS because managers, in a bid to save money, are forcing them on to lower pay levels.
Labour has stated that it would raise £2.5bn for a NHS Time to Care Fund and will increase nursing staff number by 20000, by 2020.
George Osborne, the Chancellor, last week pledged £2bn more for the NHS. However, Labour has stated that £750m of this amount has already been allocated to the health budget.
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