‘Nurse of year’ Quits The NHS Because Of Job Pressure

A “Nurse of the Year” is leaving her job because of the strain of working for the NHS in an atmosphere of “mistrust and fear”, she said.

Justine Whitaker, a specialist nurse at East Lancashire Primary Care Trust, announced that she would leave her post next month, eight months after winning the Nursing Standard award for good practice.

The decision to quit after 14 years’ clinical experience was triggered by the pressures of constant health reform and cost-cutting measures, Ms Whitaker said. “We have a Government saying it has talked to thousands of nurses and doctors – but it is not hearing what we are saying.”

Reasons for her departure included bureaucracy and form-filling, uncertainty triggered by the merger of two local general hospitals, having to physically move patients from clinic to clinic, and speculation about whether colleagues would be made redundant.

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She is due to take up a post as a lecturer and independent nurse in December.

“I leave behind a group of very unhappy nurses who have been put through the mill with constant reform,” she said.

Anne Milton, the Shadow Health Minister said: “How can the Government continue to claim that they’re listening to professionals when the ‘Nurse of the Year’ quits because the Government is paying lip service to nurses?”