The number of health staff including nurses employed across the North Tees Health area has continued to drop, with the number of General Practitioners (GPs) in Hartlepool and Stockton on Tees CCG dropping by 10%, according to government figures uncovered by Stockton North MP Alex Cunningham.
But it took a parliamentary question to get the Government to admit that there has been a reduction in the number of General Practitioners, Nurses, and Direct Patient Care staff in Hartlepool and Stockton on Tees area since 2015.
The drop in nursing numbers are as a direct result of Government changes such as the removal of bursaries whilst studying, which has led to a drop in the number of applications to study on health-related courses in England – and people leaving the profession earlier. The Royal College of Nursing expressed concerns that applications had fallen by 23% after the Government abolished NHS bursaries, and student nurses now face paying annual tuition fees of more than £9000.
Responding to the data, Alex said:
“This data doesn’t surprise me – I hear from constituents every day about the service that they experience, the waiting times they endure, and how difficult it is to get an appointment that isn’t far into the future.
“Our NHS staff are excellent – the doctors, nurses, midwives, healthcare professionals – but they need the support of the Government to do their jobs properly. I’m disappointed to see a drop in the figures of staff in the local area, as this will just put more strain on the staff that are still there and working hard to deliver the best service that they can.
”It is time Government valued our NHS staff, rewarded them properly and invested in the tremendous talent we have in our health service.”
For more information please contact Alex Cunningham on 01642 345291.