Nursing and the RCN in London
With over 55,000 members working in a busy international capital, RCN London has one of the most diverse memberships of any organisation in the UK. A commitment to equality is at the heart of the work which we do. We continue to work closely with employers in the NHS and independent sectors to help them develop fair support systems for all their staff. We are proud that our membership reflects the diversity of the local population living here.
However the biggest challenge for nursing in our region remains a shortage of available, registered nursing staff. Wages have dipped 8% below inflation in the past five years, but in London the cost of housing, transport and childcare all continue to rise.
“Caring for the Capital” looks at the work the RCN is doing to support nursing staff of all levels and from all backgrounds to be able to live and work here in London, to make sure local health employers are able to find as many staff as they think they need to provide safe, high quality patient care.
Despite all the challenges, London is the RCN’s fastest growing region. RCN London members work as registered nurses, midwives, health visitors, nursing students and health care assistants in every kind of hospital, community and academic setting within the NHS, education, independent and voluntary sectors.
Our work stretches across the populations of 32 boroughs, includes 69 NHS employers, more than 3,000 independent health care sites and over 20,000 independent sector beds. RCN members work together in a network of ten branches, supported by forty seven dedicated regional staff and around 150 accredited RCN representatives.
“Caring for the Capital” outlines in more detail the support available to members in our region, as well as all the different ways you can get involved by joining the RCN, training as a representative, or helping to organise with your local RCN branch.
Launching the publication, RCN London Regional Director Bernell Bussue said: “London offers all the challenges and opportunities of a major international capital with one of the most diverse populations in the world. The city and its health service have always relied heavily on the contribution of migrants and we are proud that the RCN’s membership here in London reflects the breadth and variety of the communities we serve.
“However, with the cost of living continuing to rise, much more needs to be done to make sure London remains an affordable destination for nursing staff. RCN London are working hard to help our members get the support they need to settle and build long term careers in the capital, so that enough staff are in place to make sure London’s patients get the quality of care they need and expect.”
Ian Norris, RCN Council Member for London and Chair of the RCN London Board, said: “RCN London members know that nursing here is like nursing nowhere else on earth. We must never forget the massive contribution that nursing staff make, many working far beyond their contracted hours to do their best for their patients.
“We will continue to campaign for safe staffing levels on behalf of our patients and users of health and care services while being champions for nursing as a profession, reminding people just how unique and rewarding nursing in London can be.”
Download a copy of “Caring for the Capital” here.