RCN responds to consultation on public health workforce strategy
Published: 25 June 2012
Commenting on the RCN’s response to Health Lives, Healthy People: Towards a workforce strategy for the public health system, Chief Executive & General Secretary, Dr Peter Carter, said:
“From the outset the RCN have said that it is crucial that nursing expertise and experience is fully recognised within the new system and the breadth of their contribution made clear. We also believe that there should be equal opportunities and parity of pay between different health professionals who undertake the same role. On top of this we remain deeply concerned with the scale and pace of the changes that are continuing to progress on the ground in the absence of robust workforce information and planning.
“While it is certainly encouraging to see a focus on school nursing and health visiting, it is vital that we see a wider approach, addressing the public health needs of the entire population, especially those of older people. Equally, with this in mind any workforce strategy needs to address the fact that in the next five to ten years there will be a significant number of public health nurses retiring. Therefore it is essential that public health as a career option is encouraged within schools, further and higher education institutes.
“The UK certainly has a long way to go in tackling the public health challenges ahead, therefore having a strong and well equipped workforce will be more important than ever.”
Notes for editors
1. You can read the full response here
3 . The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) is the voice of nursing across the UK and is the largest professional union of nursing staff in the world. The RCN promotes the interest of nurses and patients on a wide range of issues and helps shape healthcare policy by working closely with the UK Government and other national and international institutions, trade unions, professional bodies and voluntary organizations.