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It's cold out there - Let the RCN support you through the difficult winter months

12 Jan 2016

The winter months are never an easy time for those working in health services. While the weather has proved unseasonably mild of late, January and February look likely to see a return to the colder times we are used to at this time of year – and of course the impact this has on the NHS and private providers.

Hospitals will see increased admissions as the cold snap impacts on the health of the elderly and those with chronic conditions. Community services will also have to rise to the challenge of reaching more patients in their homes so nobody is left without the support they need.

With wards and services potentially stretched beyond breaking point, the RCN is here to support members who may have concerns about their own workplace. It is vital that patients receive the care and attention they need, regardless of the time of year. If this is not possible due to staff and bed shortages, with nurses and healthcare assistants left to pick up the pieces, we can give help and advice about your rights and responsibilities and work with employers in the interests of both patients and employees. Please contact RCNDirect for help with these issues, or any other concerns you have at work.

The aftermath of the Christmas period also brings other challenges for nursing staff. After years of pay restraint for the profession, the financial burden of the festive season often hits our members particularly hard in January. Again, the RCN is here to try to make life that little bit easier for our members. RCNXtra gives you the chance to save money on products and services provided by over 3,000 retailers. So whatever shopping you need to do it’s always worth checking in to see what’s on offer.

It is also worth remembering that a huge range of advice on a large number of issues which may affect you is available from the RCN. Advice about money and debt, bullying and harassment at work and other workplace issues are among the handy guides available from our website, alongside the support available by speaking to RCNDirect.

I hope all our members managed to get some rest over the holidays. The work you do in our health services, whatever the time of year, can never be underestimated. Please don’t forget that the RCN is here to help look after you so you are in the best position possible to look after others.

Karen Webb

Regional Director, RCN Eastern Region

Page last updated - 15/06/2018