CHAPTER 1 - INTRODUCTION
Significance of the Issue
The National Health Service is the largest employer in Europe and it is responsible forthe healthcare needs of a great majority of British citizens. Any shortage of a particulartype of position, especially one as vital as nurses, may effect the level of service andquality of care provided by the NHS profoundly.
The general aim of this study is to explore the complex series of reasons that may accountfor the shortfall of nurses. While obvious ones such as lack of job satisfaction, thepressures inherent within the work, and competition from other professions (and othercountries) will be taken into account, some more subtle reasons will also be considered.Thus the question needs to be asked of whether there actually
a shortfall of nurses inthe NHS, or whether those that do exist are not being utilized in as efficient a manner asthey could be.The study will aim to quantify the shortfall of nurses, explain why it has occurred,and also point the way towards some possible solutions to the problem. The
of nursing shortfalls need to be considered before the
what can be done about them
can be tackled in a meaningful manner.The case-study approach to the nursing shortfall will enable a detailedexamination of the specific problems being faced by a particular organization (in thiscase Kings College Hospital in Denmark Hill). The advantages offered by the case-studywill enable broader trends to be identified within the NHS as a whole.3