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Guardian runs update on UK nursing shortage

April 29, 2003 -- Today the Guardian published an article by John Carvel focusing on comments by the head of Britain's largest nursing union that patients continued to suffer from the UK's critical nursing shortage, despite funding increases and a large influx of nurses from abroad. The piece included Royal College of Nursing general secretary Beverly Malone's statements that despite increasing demand, nurse staffing levels remained far below what was safe, the number of nurses registered in Britain would not have increased in the last four years without international recruitment, and 50,000 nurses were due to retire in the next five years. The article noted that RCN members had recently voted to accept a 15.8% pay increase to be phased in over three years, and that Ms. Malone felt this measure could be helpful if properly implemented. The piece did not--as articles on the US shortage generally do not--explore how the foreign nurses were adapting to their new work, nor what was happening to patient care in their home nations in the wake of their exodus.

Click here to see the Guardian's article.