Connect with us

Workforce

Nurses take the fight for safe staffing legislation to Parliament

Over fifty nursing staff and students met with MPs to discuss their concerns and experiences.

Published

on

Nurses take the fight for safe staffing legislation to Parliament
RCN

The campaign calls on MPs to make health bosses explicitly accountable for safely staffing.

Nursing staff from across England gathered in Parliament earlier this week to demand an end to the staffing crisis that puts patients at risk.

At the Royal College of Nursing event, more than 50 nursing staff and nursing students delivering care across hospitals, care homes and community settings met MPs and Peers from all parties to discuss their experiences.

Advertisement

Over 100 Parliamentarians were present including the Minister of State for Health Stephen Hammond MP, Shadow Health and Social Care Secretary Jon Ashworth MP, Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry MP, and Minister of State for Apprenticeships and Skills and Anne Milton MP, who is a former nurse.

Both Scotland and Wales have already introduced legislation to ensure safe and effective staffing within healthcare organisations.

Tipping point.

Royal College of Nursing Director for England Patricia Marquis said: “Health and care services are reaching a tipping point, with nurses routinely working many hours of unpaid overtime to deliver the care people need. This puts nurses under impossible strain and puts patients at risk.  This is because there is no explicit accountability in law to ensure that there are enough professionals – with the right skills mix, in the right place, at the right time – to provide safe and effective care to patients across England.

“Our members have a very clear message for the Government – change the law so that health and care services can’t be starved of much-needed staff.”

One in ten nursing positions in the NHS in England alone are unfilled, leaving a shortfall of around 40,000 nurses.  Over 10,000 EEA nurses have left the NMC’s register since the Brexit referendum in 2016.

Making the profession attractive.

Baroness Watkins of Tavistock, who sponsored the event said: “My message to the incoming Prime Minister is that if we are going to meet the WHO sustainable development goals for health we cannot over-rely on overseas recruitment of nursing staff.

“We need to recruit enough home-grown staff across all healthcare settings and we need to make the profession attractive to new entrants while retaining those we’ve already got.

“Any new administration needs to look again at funding for nurse higher education.  That means, for example, student loans for those in the public sector paid off after a sensible period of no more than five years.”

Last month the union delivered three supersized letters calling for safe staffing legislation to the Department of Health and Social Care.

Workforce

Nursing vacancies hit record high leaving patient care at risk

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

Published

on

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.

Advertisement

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.

Continue Reading

Workforce

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.

Published

on

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.”

Advertisement

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.”

Continue Reading

POPULAR