Responding to Labour’s plan to cut NHS waiting lists by increasing out-of-hours work, Royal College of Nursing Chief Nurse, Professor Nicola Ranger, said:
“Too often the NHS runs on the goodwill of its staff. Nursing staff work so much overtime that is never paid - staying behind an hour or two after 12-hour shifts to keep patients safe - so a change in this culture is needed. As part of their shift patterns, weekend work is routine for many.
“Any Labour government would likely take office at a time of record unfilled nurse jobs, in excess of 40,000, and so the long-term answer is of course to have more staff overall. When many nurses already work additional full days to make ends meet financially, extra capacity is urgently required.
“Nursing staff must feel valued by fair pay and treatment - there is no other way to boost staffing levels and give patients the treatment they deserve.”