Elections for the North West seat on RCN Council are well underway with voting due to close on Tuesday 11 December 2018. There are two candidates standing and I would urge you to read their candidate profiles online before casting your vote.
The RCN has launched its Fund Our Future campaign, which calls on the Government and NHS England to put a minimum £1bn a year back into nursing higher education funding in England. Three North West students recently travelled to Westminster where they met several MPs to highlight the hardships students before watching a debate about the issue. You can read more about the campaign and event on our website. This links into the work we are doing around safe staffing. Look out for more information about the upcoming campaign in the New Year.
The RCN has continued to lobby the government to safeguard the future of our members from the EU and we have recently received encouraging news that the Home Office is honouring settled status in the event of a no deal Brexit. The HO is also launching a UK-wide EU Settlement Scheme pilot which prioritises health and social care staff. This was initially trialled in the North West but is now being rolled out on a national basis due to its success. The scheme will allow EU citizens working in health and social care employment across the UK to apply to continue living here after 31 December 2020.
However, there is still much work to be done as MPs voted to increase the Immigration Health Surcharge from £200 to up to £400 from 2019. The House of Lords have voiced their dissent but regardless of whether the legislation passes into law or not, we will continue to fight to have these charges waived for nursing staff and would ask you to email your MP today and ask them to take urgent action to immediately waive the Immigration Health Surcharge for non-EEA nursing staff.
We have recently hosted an abundance of successful events including the Regional Conference and Black History Month event which you can read about further on in the newsletter.
I would like to take this opportunity to wish you a happy and peaceful festive period and thank you for all your support over the past year. The RCN is a membership led organisation and without you, we cannot achieve change.