Nurses moonlighting in shops and bars

According to an investigation by the Scotmsan, thousands of nurses in Scotland's hospitals are being forced to take on second jobs to supplement their NHS wages.

"Hundreds of cash-strapped ward staff are moonlighting in shops and bars and many more have signed up for temporary work through the NHS nurse bank agency or taken on extra roles within the health board to make ends meet.

"Campaigners warned patients could be put at risk by overworked staff, while union leaders demanded improvements in pay and conditions.

"The Scotsman has learned that 332 nurses working in Grampian, Greater Glasgow and Clyde and the Borders health boards have second jobs outwith the authority.

"However, these are the only health boards able to provide the information under Freedom of Information legislation. The figure for the whole of Scotland is likely to be about three times higher. This suggests about 1,000 nurses have taken on external jobs, with health chiefs unaware of the extent of the issue."

Patients at risk as nurses take second jobs (The Scotsman, 30 August 2008)