There have been a number of important announcements from the RCN in recent weeks – including the wide-ranging review into the College. To be able to act in your best interest, we must work to empower all our members and make sure we properly represent you. And those of us working for, or elected to positions in, the College must hold ourselves to the highest standards.
That is why I am determined to deliver fundamental change for members and make sure our College can represent our profession effectively now and in the future. This is one of my priorities as General Secretary and Chief Executive, alongside the fight for fair pay and safe staffing.
And I know these are your priorities too. If you’re eligible to take part in the consultation on the NHS pay awards in England and Wales, please make sure you vote before it closes on 13 September. I have been so proud of members taking our Fair Pay for Nursing campaign out into their communities during our Summer of Action and felt very moved by the silent protest events on Wednesday held across England and Wales.
From the Angel of the North, to the Clifton Suspension Bridge and Fistral beach in Cornwall, our members bowed their heads in silence to protest against the recent 3% pay award. It was great to see members of the public also joined you at these events to show their support for our campaign.
Yesterday, I gave evidence to the Health and Social Care Bill Committee. I told MPs on the Committee that the Bill doesn’t go far enough to address accountability for the workforce or deal with shortages. I also told the Committee that we want the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to have legal accountability for workforce planning and supply, as part of service and finance planning, to help ensure staffing for safe and effective care now and in the future, on an ongoing basis. This would start to credibly address the nursing workforce crisis.
Finally, I am also delighted to welcome Carol Webley-Brown as she joins RCN Council as the new representative for London. I look forward to working with Carol, a fellow mental health nurse, alongside our existing Council colleagues to deliver your priorities for nursing.
Change is ahead and I need your help to do this. If you want to engage in the current review, I urge you to do so to move us forward and transform our College for the better.
Transforming the RCN: an independent review into the organisational culture of the RCN
Pat Cullen gives evidence to Health and Care Bill committee
Fair Pay for Nursing: latest updates
Carol Webley-Brown elected to represent London members on RCN Council