21-Jul-2018
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Nurse quit NHS to stack shelves in Lidl for ‘better pay and less stress’

LONDON July 4: A nurse who quit her job to work in Lidl says she is better off and has ‘much, much less stress’. 
 
The woman, who wished to remain anonymous, cited low morale, low wages and her colleagues leaving as mitigating factors in her leaving the NHS. 
 
She told The London Economic that although she knew it was never going to be the best paid career, she thought it would be worthwhile and ‘make a difference’. 
 
‘Sadly, it got to the point where my morale was so low, I couldn’t take it anymore,’ she said. ‘Lots of my colleagues were leaving the profession, going home [to their country of origin] or joining [private] nursing companies. 
 
‘There weren’t enough nurses on the ward, so we couldn’t do our jobs very well. 
 
Patients would just complain at us all day because they weren’t getting the attention they needed. How did this deer end up wedged between two houses? ‘[The price of] everything’s going up and it’s harder and harder to make ends meet.
 
We’re never able to treat ourselves or go on holiday. Everything I buy for my daughter is second hand including her school uniform.’ 
 
When a new Lidl opened up down her road she applied and got the job and now doesn’t even have to pay for parking, like she had to do when working at a hospital. She added: ‘The best thing is my hours are a lot more sociable. Pay is around the same level, but I get ten per cent off my shopping and I’ve sold my car, which saves a lot of money. 
 
Overall I’m slightly better off, but I have much, much less stress.’ Lidl pays a graduate manager an average salary of  £36,842  per year while a newly qualified nurse starts on just £23,023 (Picture: Getty) Last year, Chris Hopson, NHS Providers’ chief executive said ‘years of pay restraint and stressful working conditions’ had taken their toll on nurses. 
 
‘Pay is becoming uncompetitive. Significant numbers of trusts say lower paid staff are leaving to stack shelves in supermarkets rather than carry on with the NHS,’ he said. 
 
According to Indeed, the low-cost supermarket pays a graduate manager an average salary of £36,842 per year while a newly qualified nurse starts on just £23,023. Research has suggested the NHS is currently short of 42,855 nurses, 11,187 doctors and 12,219 healthcare support workers. 
 
Thousands celebrate England's penalty victory on Brighton beach Those leaving the profession are citing their reasons as real-terms pay cuts, low morale, chronic understaffing, uncertainty over Brexit and a poor work-life balance.
 
Last week, Theresa May announced that the NHS would be getting £20 billion extra a year through a ‘Brexit dividend’ but refused to answer exactly how it would be funded.