It seems relatively easy to gather information on how many recently qualified nurses are given permanent, full time contracts in the NHS. Just send an email to Freedom of Information Co-ordinator of the Hospital Trust. This is where the fun begins, because if the information you require is not contained in the Trust’s Publication Scheme, you will be typically asked to stump up £25 per hour for research into your question.What is more, under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act and Data Protection Act (Appropriate Limit and Fees Regulations 2004), if your request is deemed to take more than 18 hours of work to complete, then your request can be turned down.
One Trust’s contact details regarding FOI was hidden within a pdf document that was so large a NASA computer would have difficulty in downloading it. A clever ruse, this, and probably one designed by the Trust’s chief executive, who receives an annual salary of 20 times that of a first year staff nurse. You may be interested to know what a part of his £500 a hour job entails. If you are denied information that you feel you are entitled to, he will listen to your complaint, before sending it off to the mile-tall grass of the Information Commissioner.
In order of fairness, it should be pointed out that the top five executives of this Trust receive a cummulative total of £3 Million per year. Where there is an open honey-pot, more than one bear will dip its paw in it.
I had decided to contact the 20 largest Hospital Trusts, because an initial survey of their job notice boards showed that no more than 15% of jobs were at staff nurse level, and a third of these stipulated that the applicant should be experienced, that is, not a newly qualified nurse.
On all job application forms, there was information giving advice to overseas nurses on how to apply. The NMC deploy some of its 440 staff in assisting non-Eu nurses to obtain a temporary work visa whilst preparing to take the NMC’s equivalency test. It could be added that many nurses from abroad end up working as agency staff, who are under intense pressure to accept shifts at very short notice, both within the NHS and private nursing homes – the necessary opt out of the EU Working Hours Directive having been signed. The ill being care for by the exhausted. The future revealed.
The agencies that assist foreign nurses to work in the UK typically insist of ‘1 years experience as a registered nurse’ … a ‘need to be fully registered with the NMC’ … they ‘can assist with this’… no CV, no problem – ‘please use our free CV Creator’… once registered, we will send you ‘a shortlist of suitable vacancies’ … ‘If your details are accepted by the hospital , we will arrange a time and date for an interview. If you are overseas the interview can be conducted via telephone’! (No face-to-face quiz, then? Get someone to sit next to you who knows the answers, a bit like ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionaire’s ask an expert!) … After this rigorous process (don’t all laugh at once!) ‘the employer will issue you with a Skilled Worker certificate’ … nowhere to live, no problem! – ‘Many of our clients offer nursing accommodation’. It beggars all belief. What chance has Joe or Jill New-Nurse?
The NMC will insist on receiving: ‘Registration certificate, Birth Certificate, Copies of Diplomas References from previous employers, Transcript of your training from your training provider. This should include details of the amount of practical training you have had. 2. Payment’. This is a farce – there is no way of detecting state-of-the-art forgeries, or if an employer or nursing college has been bribed to include someone on their records. The international gangs of criminals that run the forgery racket give a no-detection guarantee. (Lenin has previously published where to find this information on the web – the NMC’s required documentation can be bought for £300). Would the BBC be prepared to acquire such documentation for an overseas emloyer, perhaps a typist, and film them turning up for their first shift on a casualty department? Great tv, but political dynamite. Who is aware of what?
When foreign applicants are advised that it may take 3 months for the NMC to verify documents, they are not referring to a painstaking process involving foreign language experts, as is the standard adopted by many American states; the delay is only a consequence of too few staff being allocated to a mountain of applications. (Lenin has asked the NMC to detail how many expert staff deal in document verification – 2?, 4?, no reply. The government have replied – none of our business, it’s up to the NMC!). If the most rigorous, and costly, methods of verification were used, it is Lenin’s belief that UK universities, hospitals, and nursing homes would lose 50% of their ‘students’ and ‘nurses’. Before anyone bleats about Lenin being racialist, the fact is that he has a long record of defending the human rights of all nationalities. This is accompanied by a similarly long record of exposing scams.
The description of the desired personal profiles of candidates for NHS Trust jobs is couched in a plethora of superlatives. The successful candidate would have to be a cross between Wonder Woman and Mother Theresa, or, not to be sexist, between Batman and the Pope. An old hospital matron once told me that when we stop being human, we become ridiculous, and deserve ridicule, an apt comment to those who use ‘management speak’ to ask for Batman or Wonder Woman, when a decent and caring human being is all that is required.
What was evident is that NHS Hospital Trusts also advertise job vacancies in clinics run by private contractors. The future is revealed – poor pay, work when told, long hours, collapse from exhaustion, and all this whilst being expected to be ‘super’,’passionate’, ‘outstanding’, and any other such bullshit adjective.
I have been concerned about the number of nursing students who drop out of their courses, having been contacted by students who claim that academic requirements are too much a strain on other roles, typically, that of being a parent. Those who do complete their training are all too often not being given a first staff nurse job, because they lack the necesary practical experience, a situation also prevalent in America and Australia. One American blogger is now advising newly qualified nurses to ‘to explore other employment settings and non-traditional specialties’, i.e. get out of nursing, or look for a ‘privatised’ job in the community, the hospitals of the future becoming nothing more than core ICU sites.
When such as Andy Burnham is repeatedly regaled by the fact that ‘only’ 7% of NHS Services have been contracted out’, his reply should, with respect, be a bit more memorable than what he has managed so far, something like, “the Trojan Horse was much smaller than the walls of Troy, but once inside it gates began to destroy everything within them”. This round of contracting out is only the opening gambit – we follow American corporate health policy as surely as we followed them into Iraq.
A young man wrote about the £3 million a year honey-pot NHS Trust, explaining that he did not think there was a shortfall of nurses, and, as a newly qualified nurse, he had applied to the Trust several times for a job, only to be told he did not have the necessary ward experience. Perhaps he should apply to be the butler of the Trust Chief Executive; he could soon pick up how to crack oysters and serve caviar and truffles.
All training should equip students with the necessary ward experience. It is useless if it does not! The RCN’s position of calling for more nurse training places, without conducting a survey of the drop-out rates of nursing students, and the reasons given, and without enquiring what percentage of nursing students get a full time, permanent NHS contract, and the reasons given, strongly suggests that they are only concerned about protecting their members who are university lecturers, those most eligible for RCN awards and grants.
The NMC and the RCN have enough money to pay NHS Trusts £25 per hour to conduct research – nurses give it to them! Their associates in the universities should, of course, give information for free, unless you do not expect turkeys to vote for Christmas, that is. (The drop out rates of some nursing courses are shockingly high, but such as the RCN want to keep this quiet; their call for more nursing students is like a world War One general saying “the more we send over the top, the more might get through”!).
Dear friends, the RCN, in reply to Lenin’s repeated suggestions for improvements in such as their nurse revalidation (by employers!) system, has sent him a copy of their Policy Document! It is like saying, “dear Lenin, just read our bible and all will be crystal clear – you will be converted to the true path”! It is a condescending and deflectory reply – a cowardly one.
As George Orwell might have wrote: As nurses look from NMC to RCN, they realise they can no longer distinguish between the two. This Establishment-approved alliance oversee a system that is sending nurses to the knackers’ yard. Many are already there, of course, their use ended, their blood sucked from them. Bring on the new batch of cannon fodder – Joe and Jill New Nurse.
This may seem like an article of unconnected issues, but there is a common theme running through it – we live in a world of half-truths, cover-ups, and outright lies.
Who is aware of what?
lenin nightingale 2015