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Help us spread safe staffing message to public

 RCN Eastern safe staffing campaign leads 9 Sep 2019 Eastern

As nurses we all know about the terrible impact a shortage of nursing staff has in the workplace.

 We know about the strain it puts on staff as they struggle to do the best for their patients while working in understaffed wards. We know that for many this stress leads them to leave the profession, making shortages even more stark. As for our patients, the impact on them cannot be understated as elements of their care are left undone. This is a crisis in nursing that can no longer be ignored.

The RCN’s staffing for safe and effective care campaign, which we have been leading on behalf of members across the Eastern region, has been gradually gathering pace, including meetings with politicians and getting the support from senior leaders working in health services. Now the time has come to bring on board another powerful group of advocates for safe staffing – the patients and public whose lives depend on it.

Next week the next phase of the campaign will launch, and this is the part of the campaign where we target the public so they are aware of the extent of the problem. How many realise that there are 40,000 nurses missing from the workforce in England? Do they know that there isn’t anyone in Government currently accountable for nurse staffing? Do they realise how the loss of the bursary for nursing students and the failure to train enough new nurses is going to affect the future workforce if more funding isn’t provided?

The campaign will launch on 17 September – to coincide with the World Health Organisation’s first World Patient Safety Day. As we know staffing is so closely linked to patient safety, this seems like the perfect choice to start spreading the message to the public we want to protect. You will hopefully start to see our advertising appearing in the media and hear about events we are holding to talk to the public in person about the impact. On 17 September, we will be in Bury St Edmunds town centre talking to the public. We’re inviting politicians to join us. We need you there too so you can help explain why we need more nurses. If you can come along, please contact the regional office for more details.

In the coming months we hope to be out speaking to people in many more locations and we’ll need your help even more. As well as looking out for emails about events in your area, please also sign up as an e-campaigner. You’ll receive regular updates about the campaign as well as suggestions about small actions you can take which will help make a difference.

We look forward to continuing to work for you and with you for the benefit of nursing staff and our patients.

RCN Eastern safe staffing campaign leads

Anne Wells, Natalie Brooks and Laura Bird are the member leads for the RCN Eastern safe staffing campaign.

Page last updated - 09/09/2019