The roles of nursing staff working in all settings, including our nursing homes, must therefore be equally valued and supported.
Nursing homes have been at the centre of the Covid-19 pandemic, despite the incredible
commitment of staff to try to keep patients and residents as safe as possible. The current Minister for Health has recognised that a major overhaul is needed of how and where we provide care to some of the most vulnerable people in our society, including the associated funding model. The RCN agrees with the need for this review. Nursing homes are affected by the wider nurse staffing crisis because they are trying to recruit and retain staff from the same pool as other health care services. That is why fair pay, as well as workforce planning and other measures to promote safe nurse staffing, must embrace the independent sector as well as the HSC.
There is an urgent need for more nurses to deliver care to people who are generally living longer and often with increasingly complex health needs. The RCN believes that, whatever changes are made to the system, people who require continuing health care must have these needs met alongside their personal care needs, with the essential role of nursing in delivering this being recognised and supported.