Training Primary Care - NHS - GPs - Eyeglass...

I don’t know what you’ve got on your Xmas-Want List?  Your letter to Santa?

Cubby Bear, a Walking Buzz Lightyear, a treat from Tiffany, a Tesla?

May I suggest you add a watchmaker’s eye glass.  A really good one; 15x magnification with an Aplanatic lens.  The best are made by Loupe of Germany.

You’ll need it… to look at the small print in the Tory manifesto and see the headlines it has generated.

‘The Bursary is back… we will recruit 50,000 more nurses.’

… ignoring the fact there is no time scale for more staff, neither claim can be true. 

The bursary is not being reinstated.  Students may receive a £5,000-£8,000 annual maintenance grant, every year, during their course, to help with their cost of living.  

They won’t have to pay it back.  But, they will still leave uni with student debt.

There is no ‘debt-forgiveness’ policy, for nurses… the obvious, cheap solution.  Half of student debt is never repaid, anyway.

Student nurses are different to other students.  Their courses and placements run throughout the year, meaning student nurses have no opportunity to do the part-time jobs, other students can do, to defray their living costs.

Plus, it is not unusual for student nurse to drive, bus, or train 60 miles to a  placement.  The cost of which is borne by the student.  

The one in 5 fall-out rate, in nurse training, is more to do with these type of living and travel problems, than it is not wanting the pressures of becoming a nurse.

Fifty thousand more nurses?  

No.  It turns out the figure is made up of; 14,000 trainees, 12,500 overseas recruits and 5,000 from the nursing apprenticeship scheme. 

The balance would be made up by retaining 18,500 nurses, through flexible working offers, who otherwise would have left the NHS.

Let’s have a closer look.  

  • About 25k nurses are trained each year, so 14,000 over five years, the life of the Parliament, is 2,800 ‘new’ nurses a year, around a 10% uplift.
  • 12,500 will come from overseas; as yet there is no clarity on immigration policy and immigrant health workers will have to pay around £600 for them and for each of their family to use the NHS, they are working in.  By September this year the international GP recruitment programme had brought in just 140 doctors.
  • 5,000 apprentices… last year just 20 apprentices registered for the degree programme.
  • 18,500 retained though better working conditions?  How do we know what the figure for ‘might-leave’, is?  How can keeping the staff you have become ‘new staff’.  Nursing is an ageing workforce, around half of leavers are retirees.  Every week 233 nurses leave early, most citing ‘work-life balance’.

This is not a policy, not a plan.  It’s guess work, back of the fag-packet.  Aimed at a public who will not know the facts.  

This is deception on an industrial scale. 

There are about 287,100 full time equivalent nurses and health visitors working across the NHS.  How many more do we want?  We don’t know.

Everyone says there are 40,000 vacancies for nurses… I don’t think it’s true.  Vacancies are estimated by the number of job ad’s on NHS Jobs website.  Vacancies that are placed locally are impossible to count, as are those on social media.

An advert for ‘a nurse’ might disguise the fact that a Trust actually has 20 vacancies. 

We’re flying blind.

There is no workforce analysis.  A proper deep dive into just how many people we need, what we want them to do and how.  The global workforce crisis tells us there are not enough nurses and care workers, in the world. 

Education is when you read the small print.  Experience is what you get when you don’t.  

Screw-in your eyeglass.

News and Comment from Roy Lilley

Contact Roy – please use this e-address roy.lilley@nhsmanagers.net

Reproduced at TrainingPrimaryCare.com by kind permission of Roy Lilley.