"Death". A word one of our members used to describe the current state of staffing.
As the member lead, on Monday I helped to facilitate the SE Regional Staffing for Safe and Effective Care Campaign in Newbury, which was a full day and well attended by around thirty or so members, as well as my co-leads Ali Upton and Adele Longley and a number of staff (too numerous to mention individually), including Lindsay Meeks, Regional Director.
With the conclusion of the Regional Meetings, the work done there will be collected, collated and the overall shape of the campaign decided upon to reflect the input from all members. This will conclude the first phase of the campaign - the consultation and planning phase - and the second phase, actually rolling out the campaign, will follow.
Neither members nor our RCN are used to working in this member-centric way. As members, we're used to having a fully crafted campaign launched with our participation being invited by being given the opportunity to write letters, sign petitions, lobby parliament et cetera. This new approach - for which the expression "co-production" has been coined - reverses that process and is in response to the increasing calls by members that our RCN should be member led and I welcome it, although there are bound to be teething troubles. Have patience.
The concept behind the campaign is that there should be a core campaign with each region also crafting its own area-specific campaign, tailored to address local issues. In order to gather information and find out more about what those issues are I have been visiting local branch meetings to talk about the campaign with members. If you have a branch event coming up, feel free to invite me along - my email address is email@example.com - and I'll be more than happy to attend.
In a fortuitous twist of fate, NHSE/I is consulting on changes to the Health and Social Care Act. In the spirit of turning necessity into virtue, we have incorporated this opportunity into the campaign and our RCN has set up a response device. Please click on this link to the SSEC and complete the editable consultation letter attached to it with your details before April 25. It will take you under a minute and your voice will be heard along with all the members who have responded already.