Nurses are being replaced with lower-paid and less qualified healthcare assistants a Freedom of Information request has revealed.
The Guardian report:
The head of the Royal College of Nursing has warned of a major health risk to patients as it emerged that 5,000 nurses have left the NHS since the coalition government came to power, while nearly 6,000 lower-paid and less well-qualified healthcare assistants have been taken on since 2010.
The figures fuelled fears that cheap labour is being sought to plug holes in services.
Earlier this month the Care Quality Commission announced that one in ten hospital services it had inspected were failing to meet the standard on adequate staffing levels.