Half of London’s nurses could quit capital over cost of living

More than half of London’s nurses have warned they could be forced to leave the capital because of the high cost of living.

The Royal College of Nursing’s annual survey found more than a third had to borrow money from family or friends while almost one in four missed utility bill payments.

Nursing vacancy rates in London are at a record 10,500, with 15.3 per cent of posts unfilled. There is concern that staff shortages harm the NHS’s ability to cope.

The RCN today called for nurses to be offered free Oyster cards and for more homes to be rented to nurses on land sold to developers by the NHS.

The survey of 1,405 London RCN members found 57 per cent saying they planned or would definitely leave London in five years.

The cost of accommodation was a factor for 84 per cent and the cost of transport for 60 per cent. Almost six in 10 said they felt less financially stable than a year ago, with 26 per cent increasingly worried about their finances.

Nurses receive London weighting on top of the basic £24,214 starting salary but say this does not cover the extra cost of living in the capital.


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