Florence, the healthcare platform using technology to help tackle the shortage of healthcare staff globally, has partnered with the Healthcare Workers' Foundation to support the charity in its mission to provide additional hardship grants to workers suffering exceptional financial hardship.
Florence is encouraging its network to donate to the grant to help ensure healthcare workers can get the support they need. A recent study of over 1,000 nurses, health and social care workers, discovered that two thirds (63%) of nurses and healthcare workers are having to choose between food and fuel to combat rising energy bills. The findings, discovered by Florence, found that nearly one in five (14%) nurses have started using food banks since the cost-of-living crisis started, while a further third (30%) know colleagues who have.
The current climate is stretching far beyond financial realms. Four in five (79%) of nurses and healthcare professionals say the rising cost of living is already negatively impacting their mental health. As a result, over half (51%) have had to take time off to recover from stress and burnout, and over a third (35%) say they’ve already seen a significant increase in mental health related staff absences.
There is an ambition to help all those in need but as the cost-of-living crisis deepens, the need for support has increased by 92% and additional funds are needed to be able to support more applicants.
The meteoric rises on energy bills and inflation are having a widespread impact on nurses and carers, often on a low income. The Royal College of Nursing (RCN), which represents nurses, has approved strike action, marking the first national walk out of nurses in history.
A staggering 94% of nurses and healthcare staff are calling for the government to match pay in-line with inflation, currently increasing at nearly its fastest rate in 40 years, driven largely by the rising cost of food and fossil fuels. But a pay rise might be too little too late, as over a quarter (28%) of nurses and healthcare staff are already planning to leave the profession in search of better pay, further adding to the chronic staffing crisis the NHS is experiencing.
Dr. Charles Armitage, CEO and founder of Florence, commented: “It is completely inadmissible that frontline nurses and healthcare staff are choosing between food and fuel. The cost-of-living crisis is having an unforeseen impact on those on low income, and nobody shouldn’t have the right to basic necessities, whether food, fuel, housing or otherwise.
“We’re proud to be partnering with the Healthcare Workers' Foundation to provide support by encouraging our network to donate, whatever possible, to this important cause. We’re heading into a tough winter and it’s vital we take greater care of our NHS workforce. The cost-of-living crisis is a pandemic level crisis, and not only will our workforce personally suffer, but the healthcare service overall will face intolerable pressure, at a time when it’s already on the brink of collapse.”
“We hear from those we support just how bad things are right now and will only get worse,” said Julie Child, Chief Executive at the Healthcare Workers’ Foundation.
“Because of the cost-of-living crisis, healthcare employees are not only coping with increased pressure at work but also an increase in financial demands at home. Budgeting can only go so far in addressing these issues. Our support initiative aims to lessen some of the possible financial hardships many members of the healthcare workforce may be facing. After all, everyone benefits from a good healthcare system!”
You can donate to the Hardship Grant and help create extra funds here: www.justgiving.com/campaign/HWFhardshipfund