Nurses struggle to pay bills as more payday loans grow

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More than one in 20 nurses have been forced to take out a payday loan to cover daily expenses, a new survey suggests.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Workforce Survey found that 6% of nurses were forced to take out one of the high interest rate loans in the past year to cope their daily bills and their daily expenses.

Meanwhile, one in four people borrowed money from friends, family or bank, 23% took on additional paid work and half worked overtime to cover their bills and expenses, according to a survey of 7,720 nurses across the UK.

Two in five nurses surveyed said they lost sleep over money worries.

Over the past year, 56% said they were forced to cut their food and travel costs, one in five struggled to pay their gas and electricity bills, 11% were late in rent or mortgage payment and 2.3% said they used charity. or food banks.

The RCN also found that 37% are currently looking for a new job, an increase from 24% 10 years ago.



Inspector worried about standards of care

Of these, more than half said they were looking for positions outside the NHS, with 14% saying they were looking for work overseas.

The College said it was “ridiculous” for the NHS to lose staff because it cannot pay its bills with current salaries.

Compared to five years ago, seven in ten feel less well financially, according to the survey of nurses – eight in ten of whom are employed by the NHS.



A nurse working in the North West of England said: “Seven years ago before I could take early retirement at 55, then I will quit nursing and find a little job in a supermarket.

“I really feel for the patients, but I have nothing more to give.

“We have two generations of nurses in our family, but I am so glad my daughter did not follow my profession.”

The College released the poll ahead of next week’s budget as it implored Chancellor Philip Hammond to address the issue of public sector pay.

RCN Executive Director and Secretary General Janet Davies said: “The shocking results we are highlighting today show just how severe the financial strain on nurses has become.

“It is ridiculous that the health service is losing highly skilled and valuable staff just because it cannot pay the bills at the end of the month.

“What people don’t realize is that a lot of the efficiency savings the NHS has managed to achieve only come from hard-pressed staff whose wages are being cut every year in real terms. No wonder the health service is short of 40,000 nurses in England alone.

“The Chancellor must therefore give a clear signal in the budget next week that the government will give a higher-than-inflation pay rise to struggling NHS nurses.”



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