arrow_up-blue blog branches consultations events facebook-icon facebook-icon2 factsheet forum-icon forum hands key link location lock mail measure menu_plus news pdf pdf2 phone policies publications related search share subjectguide twitter-icon word youtube-icon

Public support for a nursing workforce under pressure

15 Aug 2017

The pay campaign in the RCN Eastern region has taken to the streets of Cambridge and Bury St Edmunds in efforts to boost public support for calls for the Government to scrap the 1% cap on nursing pay increases.

Cambridge scrap the Cap event

In Bury St Edmunds we were joined by many members from across Suffolk, as well as RCN Council members Trevor Allen and Carol Evans.

We were very lucky to attract attention from the regional media, with members and staff being interviewed by radio and local newspapers to highlight the impact the pay cap has had on nursing staff in Suffolk and beyond.

RCN President Cecilia Anim was also our special guest for the day, speaking to the media and the public about the campaign before visiting West Suffolk Hospital to speak with senior nursing staff.

Hundreds of members of the public signed our postcards to MPs calling for the cap to be scrapped and told us the difference that nursing staff had made to their lives and the care they provided to them and their families.

We then moved on to Cambridge where we were again joined by members from across the region who used their own time to support the campaign and help gather more signatures of support from the public.

Once again we were joined by many members of the media, including TV crews and photographers keen to find out more about the campaign and speak to nursing staff about their experiences and that of their colleagues.

RCN Chief Executive Janet Davies also joined with nursing staff and their families for our special photo call to demonstrate the pressures on the nursing workforce.

In both Bury St Edmunds and Cambridge we used our special “silhouette nurse” to show the gap in the nursing workforce, where one in nine posts are unfilled.

Janet then went on to visit staff at nearby Addenbrooke’s Hospital to talk about the campaign and find out more about issues affecting them.

At the end of a long campaign day, a group of RCN members also met with Cambridge MP Daniel Zeichner to talk about the campaign.

Carol Evans, RCN Eastern board chair and RCN Council member, said: “There is an unprecedented show of anger and frustration over the Government’s pay policy.

“We hear every day about nursing staff struggling to live on wages which are 14% below inflation.

“This situation cannot be allowed to continue. At these events we asked members of the public to show their support by writing to their MP and many hundreds were happy to do so. They recognise that this campaign is not just about nurses. It is about how pressures on the workforce ultimately affect patients as well.”