Nursing staff urged to demand safe staffing legislation in England

“The right number of nursing staff with the right skills in the right place at the right time.”

Matt Bodell
6 February 2019
IV medication in hospital corridor

The Royal College of Nursing is calling on its members to support calls for safe staffing legislation in England.

The Royal College of Nursing is campaigning for safe nurse staffing levels to be enshrined in law across all four countries of the UK.


In 2016, Wales introduced the Nursing Staffing Act and Scotland is already moving towards the implementation of the Health and Care Staffing Bill.

While there are no laws around safe nursing staffing numbers for England or Northern Ireland, last year Matt Hancock, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, said he would be “happy to look” at proposals.

Danielle Tiplady, RCN Member and Activist, said; “This piece of work is so important and I’m delighted to be involved from the very beginning.

“It is vital that this work is driven and led by members, we are the ones that work on the frontline and we are the ones that will know what will work.”


‘Right staff with the right skills’.

The Royal College of Nursing is calling for a clear workforce strategy, the right number of nursing staff with the right skills in the right place at the right time and ensuring there are enough nursing staff to meet the changing needs of the population

With 40,000 nursing vaccines in England, the union has already has warned that chronic staffing shortages could undermine the goals set out in the NHS Long Term plan.

Anne Marie Rafferty, RCN President, said: “The work in England is taking a really different approach, building on what we’ve learned from successful campaigning in Wales and Scotland. 

“We’re determined to secure safe staffing legislation across the UK, to ensure patients get the safe, quality care they need and deserve.”


Patricia Marquis, Director of RCN England, added: “I know how passionate our members are and harnessing this passion to create and drive change will be pivotal to this campaign. 

“I can’t script what we will be doing, but I know that there will be opportunities for each and every member of the RCN to get involved and create a legacy that will change staffing in England forever.”  

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