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Time to take a stand on nurses’ working conditions?
  1. Alison Twycross
  1. School of Health and Social Care, London South Bank University, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Professor Alison Twycross, School of Health and Social Care, London South Bank University, London SE1 0AA, UK; a.twycross{at}lsbu.ac.uk

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According to the UK’s Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), at the end of March 2018 there were 690 278 nurses and midwives on their register—495 fewer than at the end of March 2017. The NMC also reported that 29% more European Union nurses left the UK this year than last because of Brexit, equating to 3962 fewer nurses working in the National Health Service (NHS).1 Overall there are 495 fewer nurses on the NMC register than there were last year. Registrations have fallen across mental health, learning disability and adult nursing.

No one living in the UK could have failed to notice that there is a nursing workforce crisis caused by multiple factors. This crisis hit in England first but is also beginning to be discussed in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. There are many reasons for this crisis, and these are described in detail in the recent Health Select Committee Report.2 A large part of the problem is nurses’ working conditions. By this I do not just mean pay, …

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