They are the beating heart of the NHS, but our hospitals are being drained of experienced and talented nurses due to burn-out.
Staff shortages mean so much pressure is being put on colleagues they are leaving the profession.
At the moment more than one in 10 nursing positions are vacant across Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, which employs 2,163 registered nurses.
This is an astonishing figure.
Nurses are already struggling under an incredible workload, pile on tothat having to take on other colleagues’ work and it is a perfect storm.
Burn-out has been reported as a major factor in sick days.
Stress and other mental health problems are a huge problem for nurses, and is it any wonder?
They are under a huge amount of pressure and responsibility. Ironically, although it is their role to keep the public healthy, they are the ones who are suffering.
Across Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust 16,700 days a year are lost to sickness.
And that is putting patients at risk.
Unwellstaff are turning up to work with migraines and stomach com because they are so anxious about leaving their over-stretched colleagues in lurch.
Nursing is a noble profession. It takes a special type of person to become a nurse.
And sadly fewer young people than ever are choosing to sign up to the profession.
And why would they want to when they see the conditions nurses have to work under?
There are now calls for the government to create a body that is accountable for nurse staffing at all levels of health and care services.
It’s vital that this happens. There needs to be accountability for safe nurse staffing at all levels. There must be a support system in place for those who care for us