The full impact of the cost of living crisis has continued to be revealed as NHS staff, including nurses and other health care professionals are asking for advice and where they can find their nearest foodbanks. One of the region’s biggest hospital trusts has issued its staff with a list of local food banks in a bid to help them feed their families.
Derbyshire Live has seen documentation issued by Chesterfield Royal Hospital listing six food banks in and around Chesterfield town centre. The hospital has also distributed information about which organizations staff can turn to for financial help and support.
A list of emails accompanying the documents, also noted that a number of staff members at the Calow-based hospital have turned to their managers for advice on how to deal with the increasing cost of living.
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The revelation that some members of staff are looking at using food banks in order to make ends meet is the latest in a long line of problems brought to light by the increased cost of items such as food, energy and petrol.
As the document from Chesterfield Royal Hospital explains: “The cost of living crisis is having an impact across the country including our NHS staff – the cost of everyday goods is around nine per cent higher than this time last year and this has plunged millions of households into hardship.”
Currently, nursing staff in the National Health Service start off on a salary of between £25,655 rising to £31,534 for a Band 5 nurse but a Band 2 worker earns between £18,870 and £19,918. Meanwhile, the most obvious sign of the rising cost of living can be found at the petrol pump with the country-wide average cost of a liter of unleaded petrol now standing at 187.5p and a liter of diesel costing 194.17p.
Dr Hal Spencer, Chief Executive of Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, told Derbyshire Live: “We recognise the cost of living is increasing and potentially causing challenges for some individuals and families, especially for those who work in lower paid roles, with part- time hours. We aim to support our colleagues and have shared information on available financial support and local food banks to help those who may need it. By informing colleagues, they are also able to share information with patients and visitors who may also ask about financial support in the hospital.
“Our aim is to show kindness and help people as much as we can, noting that salaries are standardized across all NHS organisations.”
Meanwhile, UK interest rates have increased to the highest level in 13 years with the Bank of England putting the rate up by a quarter of one per cent to 1.25%. The bank also warned that inflation – the rate at which prices – could increase to 11% later this year meaning everyday items and goods could get even more expensive.