Nurses report ongoing concerns over staffing levels

4 September 2020

Liaison Workforce

A survey conducted by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) of over 40,000 nurses has found that 38% said staffing levels got worse during the pandemic. When asked what they would like to see done to make them feel more valued, the respondents were clear that pay and staffing levels were top of their agenda; 73% said improved pay and 50% said better staffing levels would make them feel more valued.

Other findings included:

  • 76% reported an increase in their own stress levels
  • 33% said they worked longer hours, but only 40% of those reported getting paid for them
  • 34% said they worked at a higher level of responsibility, with 90% of those saying they received no extra pay. 

More than half of nurses said that they are worried about their own physical (58%) and mental health (52%), and 91% replied that they are concerned about the wellbeing of those in the nursing profession generally.

This comes as NHS Providers’ Director of Policy and Strategy, Miriam Deakin, emphasised the need for additional support for staff following the release of the most recent sickness absence statistics. As reported on the NHS Providers website, she said:

“Looking ahead, we must not underestimate the lasting impact working during COVID-19 will have on NHS staff. According to a survey we conducted in June, 93% of NHS trust leaders are concerned about staff wellbeing, stress and burnout following the pandemic… Additional support for staff will be a long term requirement, as evidence suggests that staff are more likely to present much later, around two and a half to seven years after experiencing trauma. We will need to continue to track the mental health and wellbeing of the workforce to get a good understanding of the impact COVID-19 has had for years to come.”

Liaison Workforce Managing Director, Judith Shaw, says: “We recognise the impact both on NHS organisations and nursing personnel that a lack of sufficient staff can bring, and seek to use our experience and expertise to support trusts and health boards to effectively collaborate to deliver improvements in workforce planning and management.

“Our people, technology and data enable cross-system collaboration and insights, including collaborative bank provision supporting worker portability, giving medical and nursing staff the flexibility to work across different organisations.

“This can help to lessen the impact of staffing gaps on both a short and long term basis, and has mutual benefits for both NHS organisations and frontline staff.”

To speak to the Liaison Workforce team about collaborative working and banks, please get in touch on 0845 603 9000 or email

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