Why you should support the RCN's Staffing for Safe and Effective Care campaign

 Dr Heather Mercer 12 Nov 2019

Dr Heather Mercer explains why nurses in the independent sector need to get behind the RCN’s Staffing for Safe and Effective Care campaign.


There is a nursing crisis in England – we are missing more than 40,000 nurses across health and social care sectors. This problem isn’t just about the NHS, it’s about all sectors and settings. That’s why I’m asking for your support.

Nurses are the life force of health and care services but the shocking staffing shortages in England mean we can’t care for our patients the way we want to, and the way they deserve.

You know how often we have to deliver rushed care, reducing the level of dignity we would wish to offer our patients. This causes stress for us as nurses and our patients. In unpaid time we often stay to give the sort of care we 'want' to give.

We love nursing but we are working under ever-increasing pressures, and we have to let the Government know that this can’t go on any longer.

There is no law related to nurse staffing in England in the NHS, and we need a change in law to protect patient care and nursing staff in the future.

The RCN’s Staffing for Safe and Effective Care campaign is calling on the Government for safe staffing to be written into law in England.

This is a member-led campaign so we need you, as a member who cares about nursing and the future of the profession, to get behind the campaign and make the Government take notice.

You can do this with a couple of immediate actions, so please sign up and make the government 'hear' our voices and those of our patients:

  • Sign our petition to demand action from the Government to fix the nursing workforce crisis in England, and share it as widely as you can among your colleagues, friends and families.
  • Become an e-campaigner – you’ll receive a monthly email with a quick and easy online action you can take to help us make sure we have safe staffing levels in England.

South East members are also talking to their local MPs, and taking the petition to events organised by their employers and rallying support in their local communities. Your MP will want your vote in the coming election. Let's ensure that every MP has signed our safe staffing petition or they don't get our vote!

If you’d like to discuss any ideas of how you can get more involved, then the regional team would be delighted to hear from you and offer any support they can. Please email Helen Wigginton, Regional Communications Manager: helen.wigginton@rcn.org.uk who will get back to you.

Thank you for all the care you give. I do hope you will get behind the campaign. You’re on the frontline, it’s time to make your voice heard.

Read more about the Staffing for Safe and Effective Care campaign




Dr Heather Mercer

Dr Heather Mercer

Dr Heather Mercer is RCN South East Council Member until 31 December 2019, Board Member and a Nurse with years of experience in the independent sector. 

Page last updated - 13/04/2020