The Liberal Democrats have responded to a report by the Royal College of Nursing warning of the threat to patient safety caused by the number of nurses jobs left vacant.
Liberal Democrat Shadow Health Secretary Norman Lamb said:
“The government’s public sector pay squeeze is driving nurses out of the profession and this is risking patient safety. It is a scandal that 40,000 nursing positions can’t be filled.
“The Conservatives are bleeding the NHS dry with operations cancelled and patients left on trolleys, which is why we propose a penny on income tax to improve the NHS and social care.
“Some 7% of nurses and health visitors – 22,000 - are other EU nationals, many of whom are also leaving due to the government’s failure to guarantee the right to remain of NHS nurses.”