The first in a series of meetings to start the RCN’s campaign for a safe nurse staffing law in England takes place in London today.
The event, which brings together RCN members, reps and staff from each of the country’s nine regions, will see nursing staff shape every aspect of the campaign.
They will share ideas on how the campaign will be run locally and discuss what legislation needs to deliver to realise change for nursing staff on the ground.
Director of RCN England Patricia Marquis said: “I know how passionate our members are and harnessing this passion to create and drive change will be pivotal to this campaign.
“We need people to sit up and take notice. Nurse staffing levels don’t just affect our members. They have a huge impact on patient care. If we don’t tackle this now, at some point in the future, everyone will suffer.
“We can’t stand back and allow our health services to deteriorate any longer because of something that is within our government’s control. We need funding for more people to train as nurses and we need clear accountability for tackling the huge shortfall of nursing staff.
“It won’t be easy, but we must come together to make this happen.”
The RCN is campaigning for nurse staffing for safe and effective care to be enshrined in law across all four countries of the UK.
Following a successful campaign which began in 2006, safe staffing legislation covering NHS adult acute settings in Wales was introduced in 2016.
The RCN is continuing to campaign to ensure this delivers improvements for nursing teams and their patients and for the law to be extended to other areas of nursing.
In May, the Scottish Government published the Health and Care (Staffing) (Scotland) Bill and the RCN’s campaign “Ask for More” is working to influence and shape the final bill.
In Northern Ireland there is no law on nurse staffing levels, but the Department of Health (Northern Ireland) has outlined nurse staffing in the Delivering Care Framework.