A new strategy is needed to help Lanarkshire nurses avoid burnout – that’s the claims of one local councillor, who has raised concerns about staff welfare.
Robert Brown, who represents Rutherglen South, believes an action plan would benefit stressed staff.
New figures released by the Royal College of Nursing showed that over 60 per cent of nurses are considering their future due to the current work pressure they are under.
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NHS Lanarkshire has been placed on ‘code black’, their highest possible level, during the coronavirus crisis, with the health board stating in the Scottish Parliament earlier this year that they are under more pressure than at any time in their history.
Councilor Brown’s Liberal Democrats also recently carried out Freedom of Information requests, which revealed that in 2020/21, 149,990 days of nursing and midwifery time were lost due to mental ill health.
Now the councilor believes that action must be taken to stop an exodus from the profession and provide “light at the end of the tunnel.”
He told Lanarkshire Live: “People in all walks of life have seen their lives damaged by COVID and the pressures it puts on families.
“However. many nursing staff have been at the front throughout with work pressures ratcheting up steadily over the past two years.
“Nurses have been asked to take on more and more functions too. We cannot risk a large number of nurses looking elsewhere for their careers.
“Now that the COVID levels seem to be falling at last, the Scottish Government and the health boards need to come up with a plan of action to stabilize the nursing profession.
“Taken along with the health pressures, the figure of 60 per cent thinking of leaving nursing now compares with 36 per cent in another survey before the pandemic so there can be no doubt about the trend.
“Almost 40 per cent of nurses worked beyond their contracted hours most shifts.
“Front line nurses are pretty dedicated but they need to see some light at the end of the tunnel – some indication that things will change for the better for them in their working lives soon.
“We need a new strategy to guarantee leave, provide safe levels of staffing and tackle missed waiting times targets.
“In South Lanarkshire, which has seen some of the greatest pressures with a ‘code black’ declared by the health board, the position is particularly pressing.”
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