On 17 September it is World Patient Safety Day and this year’s slogan is ‘it’s time to speak up for patient safety’. We’re going to do just that by officially launching the RCN campaign for staffing for safe and effective care on that very same day.
In London RCN members will be hitting the pavements and talking to the public about the nursing workforce crisis, and its effects on them in their working lives. We’ll be meeting at the Florence Nightingale Museum (St Thomas’ Hospital, 2 Lambeth Palace Road, London SE1 7EW) on Tuesday 17 September and having a photoshoot before heading out with our flags, banners and campaign materials pounding the streets of central London together - if you are free that day please register your interest and we’ll send you all the details you need.
Fundamentally, the RCN campaign wants to make sure that there are enough nurses in all settings to provide safe and effective care. The means investment in nursing education that increases the supply of nurses into the workforce and putting the responsibility for ensuring there are enough nurses into law, so that the buck can no longer be passed around and around. It’s time for system-wide accountability that goes across the system, including to the heart of government, no ifs or buts. For that though we need to make the public aware just how severe the nursing workforce crisis is.
World Patient Safety Day is a reminder of what being a nurse is all about; keeping patients safe, and providing them with good quality care. We know that the evidence shows a clear link between Registered Nurse shortages and poorer patient outcomes. With 40,000 nurse vacancies across England, and nearly 10,000 of those in the capital, the situation for the wellbeing of nurses, and patients, could not be more pressing.
So how can you mark World Patient Safety Day? If you’re free on the 17th why not join other members talking to the public about what the nurse staffing crisis means to you. If you’re at work or have plans, why not share your experiences with colleagues or talk to family and friends about the reality of being a nurse on an understaffed ward. And if you only have a few minutes to spare, you could engage with the campaign social media or sign up to be an e-campaigner.
On World Patient Safety Day, let’s speak up for ourselves as nurses, for the wider nursing family and for patient safety.