William Eichler 14 May 2018

Nurse shortage leads to increase in sexually transmitted infections

Nurse shortage leads to increase in sexually transmitted infections image

Nurses have warned cuts to public health budgets are forcing them to turn people away from sexual health clinics due to the resulting staff shortages.

In the last five years, the number of 18 to 24 years olds who were tested for chlamydia fell by almost half a million, according to a new report from the Royal College of Nursing (RCN).

This has been accompanied by a higher level of positive diagnoses, now at 128,000 cases per year.

The report also points to an increase of 12% in syphilis diagnoses.

The RCN’s report warned that since responsibility for public health services was moved to local authorities, sexual health has seen detrimental changes to the commissioning and provision of services, funding reductions and recruitment freezes.

The Local Government Association (LGA) estimates that between 2015/16 and 2019/20 councils have seen £531m of public health funding slashed from their budgets.

The RCN surveyed over 600 nurses and discovered services were ‘severely’ understaffed, with few registered nurses, an inadequate mix of skills and little access to training.

Six in 10 of those who responded to the survey said there had been a reduction in the number of registered nurses where they work, with the majority pointing to recruitment freezes as the reason behind shortages.

Almost two-thirds of respondents blamed underfunding for a lack of access to staff training.

Nurses also reported having to turn people away.

‘This is a worrying picture of understaffed services going to extreme lengths to try to cope, even turning people away – the last thing a health professional ever wants to do,’ said Helen Donovan, professional lead for public health at the RCN.

‘If people are not able to access services then serious STIs could go undiagnosed and untreated – it is a major risk to public health.

‘The quality of services is also a grave concern. There are nurses out there doing amazing work, but there are not enough of them with the right skills in the right place as a result of the dangerous recruitment freeze.

‘Effective sexual health services require specialist skills and good quality training, both of which are in short supply.’

Listening to the voices of survivors image

Listening to the voices of survivors

Nujoji Calvocoressi describes how the voices of survivors are central to the Inquiry’s work, and argues that if things are to change, it’s essential we listen to those voices.
SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Assessing Fostering Practice Supervisor

North Yorkshire County Council
£39,880 - £43,857 per annum pro rata, Part-time/ 18.5 hours
Are you an experienced social worker seeking a new challenge? Would you like an opportunity to work in the Fostering Service? North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Commercial Vehicle Technician

Chelmsford City Council
£30,000 per annum
We are seeking a fully trained HGV technician to work as part of the team who maintain the Council's fleet to the highest standards.  Chelmsford, Essex
Recuriter: Chelmsford City Council

Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO)

North Yorkshire County Council
£43,857 - £47,782 per annum pro rata.
Are you looking for a challenging and exciting role in a dedicated team? Selby, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Commercial Financial Controller

ESPO
£63,000 - 71,000 per year + LGPS, Benefits
This individual will also be responsible for managing the financials for a number of trading businesses within... Leicestershire
Recuriter: ESPO

Deputy District Surveyor

The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council
£60,000 - £63,900 per annum
In this role you will work with the Head of Building Control, District Surveyor and other members of the Service Leadership Team in ensuring... Kensington and Chelsea, London (Greater)
Recuriter: The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue