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Workforce must feature in NHS future plans

 Anne Wells 1 Apr 2019 Eastern

Our region was the first to hold its collaborative event to get members to shape a regional staffing for safe and effective care campaign.

We were all impressed when we received an enthusiastic response from our members when they were first invited to our event, taking place in Elmswell, Suffolk. And we weren’t disappointed on the day. From the start it became clear that we had a group of very vibrant and engaged delegates, representing a broad range of the membership and from across the “nursing family”.

We heard some very innovative and solution-focussed ideas, and while some might require significant financial investment to take forward we were also impressed by the more straight-forward approaches being suggested as well as the good input on branding ideas under development.

Delegates were able to look at the broader workforce issues and this generated a lot of good ideas which we can take forward and develop once other regions hold their own events.

As we continue to plan this campaign together, there is immediate action that we can all take now.

The NHS is currently consulting on changes to the law that will affect health and social care in England. But there’s a huge gap in what they’re suggesting – and that's workforce. With almost 40,000 nursing posts empty in England, the NHS is in crisis. This has happened because no one is making sure we have enough nurses. But you can help by speaking up and demanding changes to the law to protect patient care, and by asking friends and family to do the same.

Using this quick and easy tool you can let NHS England and NHS Improvement know why workforce should be a crucial part of their plans. It only takes a minute to fill in so please help us kick start this vital campaign with a clear message – #safestaffingsaveslives.

Members are the driving force behind the safe staffing campaign as it is being formed, and will continue to be key in delivering it as well. We are looking forward to working collaboratively and making a difference for all members, who are working every day without enough staff to provide a safe working environment and the best care for patients.

Anne Wells

Anne Wells

Senior RCN workplace representative

Anne Wells is RCN Eastern member on the RCN UK Stewards Committee. She served on RCN Council between 2007 and 2015. She is staff-side Chair at East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust. Along with fellow RCN member Natalie Brooks, Anne is RCN Eastern lead for the staffing for safe and effective care campaign.

Page last updated - 01/04/2019