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Hard-up nurses take on extra work

Nurses are taking on extra work and borrowing from friends and family after seeing their take-home pay drop in real terms, a poll suggests.

A Nursing Standard survey of more than 1,200 nurses and healthcare assistants found more than half have taken on extra shifts to boost their income while o ne in 10 has a second job outside nursing.

Almost a third said they had gone without heating, a quarter had missed a credit card payment and 70% had not gone on holiday.

More than three-quarters said they had foregone haircuts or beauty treatments due to pay freezes.

The magazine said take-home pay had fallen due to increased pension contributions while pay had dropped by 9% in real terms since 2010.

All public sector pay rises are capped at 1%.

One nurse told the magazine: "I shop on a tight budget and have even limited my toilet roll to two or three squares."

Another said: "Christmas must be cheaper this year. There is no money for life's little treats and I can only see it getting worse."

In an accompanying editorial, Nursing Standard editor Graham Scott said: 'It is no wonder that almost half the respondents say they have considered quitting."

The survey found just over a third of nurses had asked family or friends for a loan until payday while 6% had taken out a payday loan.

Some 11% said they had sent their children on fewer school trips to save cash. And 9% had missed mortgage payments or fallen behind on their rent.

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