Message from Director and Board Chair
South West Regional Board
The RCN South West, one of nine RCN geographical regions in England, covers Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, Devon, Dorset, Somerset, Wiltshire, Bristol and Gloucestershire.
As the local face of the RCN, our staff and workplace representatives support both nurses and nursing across the whole of this large geographical area, working proactively to improve services in response to members' needs and the impact of government policy that is changing the face of the NHS.
Our work involves commenting on consultation and proposals, as well as active negotiations on behalf of our members. To ensure that nursing is prominent in the future NHS, we offer leadership and other training.
The issue of fair pay for nursing staff not only affects those of you employed by the NHS; the ongoing erosion of pay, terms and conditions will be reflected in the independent sector. In the NHS, nursing staff's pay has fallen ten per cent below inflation since 2010, while pension contributions and NMC fees have risen. At the same time, nursing staff often work through their breaks and stay on after their shifts are meant to have ended to ensure high quality patient care. Enough is enough. It's time you were paid what you are owed. The RCN is launching a new campaign to support members to claim for the excess hours they have worked. Find out more about the national campaign, What if you get what you're owed?
In the south west we are focusing initially on Weston Area Health NHS Trust, and RCN representatives and staff will be on hand at Weston General Hospital to give out resource packs and answer questions throughout February at shift changeover times.
Influencing the political agenda
We ensure that the RCN's Council and Chief Executive & General Secretary are informed of the reality for members working in the NHS and independent sector. This information supports their roles in influencing government policy and lobbying. Additionally, we influence the political agenda by talking to MPs and councillors, as well as trusts and independent sector employers in the region.
We are committed to a robust programme of training and support for our workplace representatives, who have the difficult job of balancing RCN work with their 'day jobs'. Our volunteers undertake a huge range of roles, including branch executive members, stewards and forum representatives. They are integral to every aspect of our work.
The RCN board
Our board, made up of fields of practice and branch representatives, work closely with RCN staff, with individuals acting as board champions on each of the groups that manage the operational plan. These groups cover all that we do now and all we aim to do in the future. Read more on the regional board pages.