Nurses in England feel worse about their jobs than most of Europe (except recession hit Greece)



09:58 GMT, 22 March 2012

Nearly half of English nurses are burned out and want to leave their jobs with only those in recession-hit Greece feeling worse, a study has found.

Researchers surveyed nurses from 12 European countries, including England, along with the U.S

They found 42 per cent of English nurses surveyed
were assessed as being burned out – second only to Greece – while 44 per
cent stated that they intended to leave their job in the next year due
to dissatisfaction.

Burnt out: An international study has found nurses in England feel worse about their jobs than 11 other EU countries and the U.S.

Burnt out: An international study has found nurses in England feel worse about their jobs than 11 other EU countries and the U.S.

The study called RN4CAST looked at more
than 2,900 nurses based at more than 40 hospitals in England.

Anne Marie Rafferty, professor of nursing policy at King's College London, which conducted the English study, said: 'Our study reveals huge variation, both between hospitals and within hospitals, on core workforce issues such as nurse to patient ratios.

'It is also clear that England's nurses are working in highly pressurised environments, resulting in lower levels of job satisfaction and greater 'burnout' compared to some other European health economies.'

The RN4CAST survey asked nurses across Europe and the US to rate their satisfaction with different aspects of their job, including levels of support, working environment, and whether they would recommend their hospital to friends and family.


NHS staff numbers in England have shown their biggest fall in 10 years, with nursing posts among those cut, according to official figures.

The workforce declined by 19,799 by the end of September last year to 1,350,377, a decrease of 1.4 per cent on the same time in 2010.

It is the biggest fall in staff figures for a decade and comes as health chiefs are confronted with making 20billion in efficiency savings by 2014/15.

Managers saw the biggest drop, with their numbers falling by 8.9% to 38,214 in the year to September last year, says the report by the NHS Information Centre for Health and Social Care.

NHS support staff fell to 219,624, a fall of 5.9 per cent since 2010, while the number of hospital and community health service nurses fell by 3,411, or 1 per cent.

Professor Peter Griffiths, chair of
health services research at the University of Southampton, said: 'This
study shows that widely reported problems in the quality of nursing are
not just a matter of the poor attitudes of some nurses, the working
environment also plays an important role and hospital management needs
to take these matters seriously.

'There is a clear link between nurse staffing levels and job satisfaction and their views on overall outcomes for patients.

'We are now analysing hospital data on death rates and rates of complications to see if high patient to staff ratios impact on these outcomes.'

Martin McKee, professor of European health at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said: 'These alarming findings must be a major cause of concern for the Government as it embarks on a radical change to how we provide health care that is so dependent on the commitment, goodwill and professionalism of those who deliver frontline care.'

The 2.8million study was led by the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing in the US and the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium in Europe.

It investigated hospital quality and safety of care in Belgium, England, Finland, Ireland, Germany, Greece, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the US.

The report was published in the British Medical Journal.