Responding to MPs voting to reject the workforce amendments to the Health and Care Bill backed by the RCN in the Commons today (Tuesday 23 November), Patricia Marquis, RCN England Director, said:
“A broad coalition of professional, political and public support has been overlooked by a government still unwilling to solve the staffing crisis in the NHS and care system. There is widespread disappointment and disbelief this evening. When vacancy levels are so high, the move is short-sighted at best and wilfully reckless at worst.
“The amendments we backed were designed to ensure health and care services have the workforce they need to deliver safe high-quality services now and in the future. Thousands of nursing staff and supporters contacted their MPs this week, asking them to stand up for safe staffing and back changes to this Bill.
“The current approach to workforce planning is haphazard and leads to shortages - running counter to all ambitions to improve patient safety.
“For the remainder of its time in Parliament, we and others will continue to push for amendments to the Bill. The nursing profession will continue to speak out on the need for a sustainable and accountable workforce plan and highlight the impact of the current level of vacancies.”