Call for examples of UK nursing contributions towards the UNs sustainable development goals 2030

 Charlotte Rogers 28 Aug 2019

Call for examples of UK nursing contributions towards the UN's sustainable development goals 2030.

Nursing staff not only provide health and social care, their role in society in bringing about change for good is much broader. Nursing staff are the linchpin to connecting people to many other services and support. Nurse-led social prescribing is one example of how nurses enable personalised, integrated care.

The purpose of this survey is to capture the nursing contribution towards the UK achieving the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. Please note: the survey is anonymous and will close at 11pm on 9 September 2019. 

These goals are linked and broad in nature and identify a number of targets that need to be met by all countries by 2030.

We want to be able to showcase the nursing contribution across the UK, including rural and urban centres, and across all health and care sectors. This is why we are asking you to provide us with examples for publication in a report on UK nurses contribution across any of the 17 sustainable development goals which could be considered as potential case studies. In addition, we know that more work is urgently required in the UK and we believe there are numerous examples of how nurses are tackling a range of issues, including:  

  • Women continue to be under-represented at all levels of leadership and are being paid less than men doing similar roles. Women make up almost 90% of the nursing workforce, but men hold the majority of key leadership and management roles. We want to know what the nursing community is doing to tackle these kind of issues and close the gender promotion and pay gap.

  • Child poverty affects more than 4 million children in the UK, and we have the second highest level of severe food insecurity of children under 15.  We also know that approximately 18% of pensioners re living in relative poverty, but we also know that nursing staff are actively advocating and caring for these people every day.

  • Migrants and refugees, people with mental health conditions and disabilities continue to have worse health outcomes. Asylum seekers are five times more likely to have mental health needs than the general population and more than 61% will experience serious mental distress. We know that these sections of the population are less likely to receive support than the general population, and we want to know what nursing staff are doing to help combat this. 

  • Despite the NHS being one of the safest health systems in the world, we know there are a number of preventable deaths and harms every day. We also know that nursing staff are increasingly using their voices to call out unacceptable practice and behaviours and drive forward quality improvements that make a difference to patient safety. 

  • We are facing a huge climate change emergency. Costs associated with ocean-based consumer plastic pollution amounts to $13 billion every year, with around 8 to 12 million tonnes of plastic entering the oceans every year. This leads to the pollution of our soil and fresh water, it causes flooding, which in turn causes the spread of waterborne diseases such as malaria, dengue fever, dysentery and cholera. We know that many nursing staff are leading the way in terms of greener practice and improved sustainability of services, and we want to know more.

Nursing staff make a massive difference to our nation’s performance and progress, no matter how small those contributions may seem on an individual basis. Collectively, the nursing contribution is potentially huge, so please provide us with examples of any work you know about that is working towards some, if not all of the 17 goals.  We are actively seeking creative and innovative examples, however large or small. 

If you have any queries about the survey please email



Charlotte Rogers

Charlotte Rogers

International Policy Manager

Charlotte Rogers is the International Policy Manager.

Page last updated - 27/05/2020