Join our campaign for safe staffing
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We're calling for safe and effective care to be enshrined in law in each UK country.
Calling for safe staffing across the UK
In England there is no law related to nurse staffing.
The RCN is campaigning for legislation to guarantee nurse staffing levels in England across all sectors and settings.
The Nurse Staffing Levels (Wales) Act 2016 was the first law of its kind in the UK. It requires health boards to provide sufficient nursing staff so that all patients can receive sensitive care. Section 25B defines the appropriate number of nurses for children's wards and adult medical and surgical wards.
RCN Wales continues to campaign for the extension of Section 25B to new settings, particularly mental health inpatient wards, community nursing, and care homes.
In June 2019 the Health and Care (Staffing) (Scotland) Act became law, the first legislation in the UK to set out requirements for safe staffing across both health and social care services.
Implementation has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Following sustained pressure from RCN Scotland, the Scottish government has now published a timetable for implementation. The timetable sets out a 21-month programme of work which will see the Act come into force from April 2024.
Following industrial action during 2019/2020 to achieve pay equality and safe staffing, the priority for RCN Northern Ireland is to hold the Department of Health and Northern Ireland Executive to account for the delivery of the Health Minister’s safe staffing framework, particularly in relation to the implementation of safe staffing legislation.
RCN Nursing Workforce Standards
How are staffing levels and low pay affecting you right now? How is the cost-of-living crisis and the remnants of a global pandemic impacting your work and life? Capture your lived experience with our easy-to-use tool and help tell the true story of UK nursing.
Our principles for staffing for safe and effective care
We want it to be clear whose job it is to make sure there are enough nurses to meet patients’ needs.
Find out more about our safe staffing campaign
28 Nov 2023
Result brings an end to pay dispute on the island.
8 Nov 2023
The Isle of Man’s largest nursing trade union is to survey its members once again over a revised pay offer from employer Manx Care.
10 Oct 2023
Strike action on the Isle of Man has been postponed while members are surveyed over a new revised offer from employer Manx Care.