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London’s low-paid night shift workers need access to ‘safe and efficient transport’

Launching this weekend, campaigners will be distributing specially made leaflets.

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London Tube
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A ‘night-rider’ fare would allow workers to move between buses, tube, train, DLR or tram with a single ticket.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) alongside a research team at one of London’s top universities have together called on the Mayor of London to take urgent steps to address the transport needs of nursing staff and low-paid workers who provide vital services during the night.

Researchers from the Urban Innovation and Policy Lab at University College London (UCL) working alongside the RCN claim the London night-time economy is too heavily geared towards consumers rather than the low-paid workers who keep essential services running after dark.

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Research by the Urban Innovation and Policy Lab highlights that 50 per cent of bus trips taken at night are journeys to and from work and that night-time workers are often working on low wages compared to day-time workers, spending a large share of their income on transport.

RCN London and UCL researchers are now calling on the Mayor to introduce a ‘Night-Rider’ fare that would allow night workers to move between buses, tube, train, DLR or tram in a single fare.

Launching this weekend, campaigners will be distributing specially made leaflets – ‘A night in the life of London’s night-time workers’ – along the Victoria line to members of the public.

Safe and efficient transport.

RCN London Regional Director Jude Diggins, said: “London is an amazing and vibrant 24 hour city that is the envy of much of the world and night after night it is nursing staff who keep our hospitals running whilst many are out having fun.

“With nursing staff caring for the vulnerable and often dealing with the darker side of the night scene in London, investment in a 24-hour entertainment culture needs to be matched by increased investment in supporting health and other public workers to be able to afford safe and efficient transport.

“When finishing late at night or into the early hours our members tell us they will opt to take much longer trips on one mode of transport to save money, rather than the quickest and safest route which may involve taking buses, a tube and even a tram.

“A commitment from the Mayor to introduce a night-rider fare would allow nursing staff to switch between modes of transport for one fare.

“We also need to see the voices of health and care workers front and centre in the planning of the night-time economy, that’s why we’re calling for a representative from the largest staff group in the night-time economy given a seat on the Late Night Transport Working Group.”

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Nursing vacancies hit record high leaving patient care at risk

It can be “dangerous” when there aren’t enough nurses to provide care.

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Patient Falls Risk with IV

There are now a record 43,671 empty nursing posts in the NHS in England alone.

NHS figures show that there are now a record 43,671 empty nursing posts in the NHS in England alone, according to the Royal College of Nursing (RCN).

The College says a global shortage of nurses alongside the removal of the nursing bursary has compounded this figure which now sees 12% of posts through the NHS in England without a full-time Registered Nurse.

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Figures from the University and College Admissions Service (UCAS) show a 29% overall decline in applications to undergraduate courses since 2015, when the bursary was cut by the Government.

In a report released today titled ‘Standing up for patient and public safety’, the Royal College of Nursing outlines the evidence of the need for a new law that allocates specific legal responsibilities for workforce planning and supply.

A new law is needed.

The report states that in order to address the record number of vacancies, and the gap between the numbers of health and care staff needed to deliver patient care vs. how many are in the system.

Figures included in the report reveal that the number of nursing staff has consistently failed to keep up with the dramatic rise in demand for services and the number of emergency admissions.

The report finally makes a further call for legal clarity on the roles, responsibilities, as well as accountabilities, for workforce planning and supply.

In September, after pressure from RCN members, NHS England and NHS Improvement asked the Government for clarity over who is accountable for the nursing workforce.

‘Nurses are working harder than ever’.

Dame Donna Kinnair, Chief Executive and General Secretary of the Royal College of Nursing said: “Nurses are working harder than ever to deliver safe patient care but are being held back by a system that is legally lacking teeth. Despite the public, patients and nurses all agreeing that clarity is needed on responsibilities for delivering enough nurses, we have yet to see any government pledge anything of the like, and as a result are staring down the barrel at a record 43k empty nursing posts.

“We know how dangerous it can be when there aren’t enough nurses to provide care, but at present, almost all accountability rests with the frontline nurse working on the understaffed ward, rather than those responsible for the system they work in.

“We believe the time has come for change and that patient care was future-proofed by law, and that from the government down, decision makers are held to account.

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NHS calls for clarity on who is accountable for the nursing workforce

Figures suggest there are around 40,000 unfilled nursing vacancies throughout the NHS in England.

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Working nurses in the CCU

Healthcare leaders are calling for legislation to be included in the forthcoming Queen’s Speech.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have called on the Government to clarify who is accountable for the nursing workforce and the chronic problems it’s currently facing.

Following ongoing pressure from nursing unions, the two organisations met today and recommend that the government should “revisit with partners whether national responsibilities and duties in relation to workforce functions are sufficiently clear.”

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With around 40,000 unfilled nursing vacancies in the NHS in England and thousands more throughout social care, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) believes the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care should be legally accountable for the workforce.

Along with other health care leaders, Dame Donna Kinnair, Chief Executive & General Secretary of the RCN, written to the Government calling for the legislation proposed by NHS England and NHS Improvement to be included in the forthcoming Queen’s Speech.

Staff shortages have reached ‘alarming levels’.

Responding to the news, Dame Donna Kinnair said: “We are pleased that NHS England and NHS Improvement has recognised the concerns of RCN members and the public and has stated that the issue of accountability for workforce planning and supply remains an area that needs be resolved.”

“In the week after we have launched a major public facing campaign calling for investment in the nursing workforce as well as for accountability to be clarified in the law, yet again, the case is made for this to be taken seriously.

“We are clear that government is well placed to determine how accountability can be clarified in law.

Adding; “Staff shortages have reached alarming levels with at least 40,000 vacant registered nurse posts in the NHS in England alone with thousands more vacancies in public health and social care.

“We now hope government will listen to this message, as well as the voices of the thousands of members that responded to the NHS England engagement process, and bring forward this legislation, taking the opportunity to include accountability in government and throughout the health and care system, for workforce planning and supply.”

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