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04th Jul 2018

NHS nurse quits job, moves to Lidl for ‘better pay and less stress’

The NHS has a shortage of more than 40,000 nurses

Oli Dugmore

The NHS has a shortage of more than 40,000 nurses

A nurse who quit her job in the NHS to stack shelves in Lidl has said doing so massively improved her quality of life.

The woman, who wanted to remain anonymous, told the London Economic she is now less stressed, better paid and doesn’t have to pay for parking as she did at her old hospital.

“Since I was a child I wanted to be a nurse and help care for people. I went straight into nursing from school. I knew it wasn’t the best-paid career, but I thought it would be worthwhile and I’d be making a difference.

“Sadly, it got to the point where my morale was so low, I couldn’t take it anymore.

“Lots of my colleagues were leaving the profession, going home or joining 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.

“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.

“A new Lidl opened up near the end of my road so I applied and got the job. It means I don’t need to drive to work anymore, where I was even charged for parking.

“The best thing is my hours are a lot more sociable. Pay is around the same level, but I get 10 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’s graduate managers earn an average salary of £36,842 compared to a newly qualified nurse on £23,023.

Freedom of information requests by the Labour party indicate that the health service as a whole is short of 42,855 nurses, 11,187 doctors and 12,219 healthcare support workers.

Theresa May recently announced the NHS would get a £20 billion funding boost but was unable to cost the policy, saying it would be paid for by a Brexit dividend, which official government financial forecasts say does not exist, and tax rises.

Last weekend 40,000 people attended a demonstration in London protesting cuts to the NHS.