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Senior Nurses leaving the NHS

The NHS in England has lost more than 1,000 matrons and 3,400 other senior nurses during the past four years it has been claimed.

Figures obtained by the Labour Party has shown that the number of senior nursing posts has dropped since 2010.

Further official data from August shows that the number of community matrons co-ordinating care across different primary services has decreased by 216 in the past four years.

Dr Peter Carter, chief executive of the RCN, said: “Cutting senior nursing posts means that the NHS has lost vital experience and knowledge at a time when it needs it more than ever.

“While recent investment means that there are new, lower-grade nurses coming into the profession, there's a major risk of creating a skills gap that won't be filled overnight.”

There are many factors that the RCN believe could be responsible for the decline in senior nursing staff. While the aging of NHS staff may be a factor, he also believes that pay freezes mean “many no longer see the health service as offering an attractive career”.

Nurses and other NHS workers were denied an across-the-board 1%pay rise this year, after the Government decided to ignore the advice of its independent Pay Review Body, leading to a wave of strike action in the health service.

Labour's shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham said the nursing losses risked “threatening standards of care.”