More children’s palliative care nurses needed

October 2016

A shortage in palliative children’s nurses is resulting in reduced care for families, finds children’s palliative care charity Together for Short Lives.

Nurses vacancy rates in children’s palliative care voluntary sector is currently 10%, higher than the 7% vacancy rate in NHS nurses. The charity’s annual vacancy survey shows the negative impact on services is increasing year on year. The shortage is resulting in closing beds, reducing respite and affecting continuity of care.

In 2014, 43% of respondents said they reduced the service offered to families as a result of vacancies, in 2015 this had increased to 65% reporting their vacancies were affecting the amount of care they can offer to families.

‘We need to encourage more nurses to join a brilliantly committed, intelligent and hard working group of children’s palliative care nurses who are dedicating their skills and passion to caring for and supporting children, young people and their families,’ Barbara Gelb, CEO of Together for Short Lives said.

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