"The crises in the cost of living and wage rates are to blame"
Bejoy Sebastian, a senior nurse at University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (UCLH), spoke about the effect the rising cost of living and post-pandemic fallout is having on nurses.
He commutes from his house in West London, where he resides with his wife, Divya, and their eight-year-old son, Emanuel.
Bejoy and his wife moved from Kerala to the UK in March 2011.
They are both nurses who have deep admiration for Britain and its healthcare system.
He stated: “I love this country, my job and my colleagues but there may come a time when I have to consider whether or not I can afford to live here any longer.
“The crises in the cost of living and wage rates are to blame for this issue.”
Bejoy Sebastian acknowledges that, as a senior nurse, he is in a better situation than many of his colleagues and that younger, newly graduated nurses could be facing more difficulties.
Just three of the eleven nurses who walked off the plane with Bejoy from India are still employed by the NHS.
In every case, this is because of the growing disparity between income and the expense of living in the UK, particularly in London.
According to Bejoy, many nurses who find it hard to make a living in London either go into agency nursing or move to Australia, Canada or the US.
The nurse shared: “One of the groups was desperately trying to buy somewhere to live but found it impossible. I tried to persuade him to stay but he moved to Australia.”
He is a member of a sizable, committed team in critical care that travel all around London’s less affluent neighbourhoods to provide treatment for seriously ill patients.
To arrive in time for his 8 am shift, he leaves his home at sunrise.
Due to his sense of obligation and concern for the patients and employees, he frequently remains past his scheduled finish time of 8:30 pm.
He shared: “There may be a member of the team who has a problem with a patient or simply just needs to talk.
“We have had many tears shed in our office over the past couple of years.”
Normally, he arrives back home at around 10:30 pm, but occasionally it takes him past midnight to see his wife and son.
Throughout the day, Bejoy works incredibly quickly, moving from task to task while frequently pausing to chat with coworkers and provide assistance and guidance.
He may be at an important meeting one second, helping an intubated patient clear their airway the next, and then penning a plan to support his colleagues to thrive in a diverse workplace.