It was interesting to hear about the work going on behind the scenes to get the voices of RCN members heard about the lack of commitment to nursing in the long-term NHS plan for England. The plans are not deliverable without a commitment to proper planning for the nursing workforce.
The warning signs are already there with a decrease in student RCN membership reflecting a drop in numbers starting nursing courses following the abolition of the bursary in England. Coupled with growing student hardship, we know there are major challenges ahead in getting the right type and number of staff in place to deliver NHS in the future.
With these challenges in mind, Council heard about the first steps in the RCN’s new campaign on safe and effective staffing. This is going to be Council and the college’s priority in 2019.
The driving factor for how the campaign will work is going to be our members. A number of events are being planned across England to help plan and develop this campaign. We need your energy, your experiences and your ideas to help us make the case for legislation to protect staffing levels and make sure there are enough nurses to provide safe and effective care for patients.
I’d like to encourage Eastern members to attend our safe and effective staffing planning event on 18 March. If you’d like to be involved in directing how this campaign will work, please register your interest in attending this meeting. We’d like as broad a range of members as possible, across all specialities of nursing and in both the NHS and independent sector.
RCN Council will continue to make this campaign a priority because we know that staffing is a key issue for our members. Please get involved as we know that #membersmakeithappen!
You can get in touch with me with your views on this or any other issue you think we need to be aware of as a region. Please email Janice.firstname.lastname@example.org.