Nursing student places in Northern Ireland is to be cut by 300…

Our health service continues its bleak journey to hell in a handcart. The latest death by a thousand scalpel cuts is the news that they are cutting 300 student nurses places. You can guess the reason – budget cuts.

I can hear you thinking, hold on a minute do we not need MORE nurses? Why yes indeed you would be right. We have almost 3,000 vacant nursing posts in the health service in Northern Ireland.

If the health service was a patient, the prognosis would not be good. Staff are underpaid, demoralised and burnt out and things are only getting worse. As the workload increases more nurses will retire or move to agency work. The current bill for nursing agency staff is already £140m a year.

I am not a health economist (but I play one on TV) but we do seem to make all this really complicated. Can we not go back to the old days were we trained nurses for free, and gave them a decent salary and working conditions? This free market agency bollocks is just another example of privatisation being a disaster for workers and patients.

On Friday a neighbour of mine fell in her garden and broke her hip, it took 4 hours for the ambulance to arrive. When it did they needed a different ambulance and had to wait a further 2 hours. All the while she is lying in her garden rolling around in agony. She only lives about 2 miles from the Royal but everything it is a complete sh*tshow at the moment.

Don’t drink, smoke, drive, climb a ladder, go swimming, running, don’t look at anyone sideways, don’t ride anyone, avoid people at all costs – in fact just don’t leave the house at all. But then again don’t sit too much or you will get deep vein thrombosis.

I will leave you with the sage words of Sergeant Phil Esterhaus – ‘Let’s be careful out there!’.

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