Last night RCN London kicked off our Summer of Action with the North West London branches hosting a session with their local MPs. Seven local MPs attended the session and they were: James Murray (Ealing North), Barry Gardiner (Brent North), John McDonnell (Hayes and Harlington), Seema Malhotra (Feltham and Heston), Dr Rupa Huq (Ealing Central and Acton), Virendra Sharma (Ealing, Southall) and Bob Blackman (Harrow East).
Members used the session as an opportunity to speak directly to their local MPs and share what life is like for nursing staff on the ground. There were some very personal experiences shared, many spoke of burnout, fear for unsafe staffing levels as well as how the Government’s 3% pay award felt like a “kick in the teeth”. Members said they were angry, felt unsupported and undervalued. Many members shared their worry about a mass exodus within the profession unless changes are made NOW. In London, there are already over 8,200 vacant nursing posts in the NHS and thousands more in social care.
Collectively, MPs from across the patch recognised the significant contribution the profession had made over the last sixteen months and that nursing staff deserve to be supported and paid fairly. MPs added that the experiences shared by members helped them understand the challenges facing nursing staff, specifically the urgency in recruiting and retaining nurses in the capital.
Chair of the Inner North West London branches Audrey Sothcott said:
“By giving our members a chance to tell their story we hope that local MPs will support our calls for better conditions and pay for nurses and healthcare support workers in Parliament. Our MPs should be equipped with real life experiences of nursing staff in North West London and it’s essential that they use our experiences to speak up for us in Parliament.
This is a very crucial time for the profession, actions made now will either make or break it. We need to make the nursing profession one to be proud of again.”
To find out more about our Summer of Action please click here.
Together we CAN make change happen.