South East nurses lobby at Westminster on staffing crisis

17 Jul 2019

Five nurses from the South East region joined colleagues in Parliament on 16th July to demand an end to the staffing crisis that puts patients at risk.

Jeremy Benton, Oxfordshire; Maxine Carr, Southampton; Shelley Pearce, Hayling Island; Charlotte Levitt, Portsmouth and Alison Stoneham, Bognor Regis met MPs and Peers from all parties to discuss their experiences.  The RCN is launching a campaign for new legislation to make Government and NHS bosses explicitly accountable for safely staffing our health and care services across the South East and throughout England.

Royal College of Nursing Regional Director for the South East region, Lindsay Meeks, said: “Health and care services in the South East are reaching a tipping point, with nurses routinely working many hours of unpaid overtime to deliver the care people need. This puts nurses under impossible strain and puts patients at risk.  We are clear that this is because there is no explicit accountability in law to ensure that there are enough professionals – with the right skills mix, in the right place, at the right time – to provide safe and effective care to patients across England.

“Our members had a clear message for the Government – change the law so that Ministers can’t starve health and care services of much-needed health care staff.”

One in ten nursing positions in the NHS in England alone are unfilled, leaving a shortfall of around 40,000 nurses.  Over 10,000 nurses and midwives from EU27 countries have quit the NHS since the Brexit referendum in 2016.

Jeremy, who is part of the regional team leading on Safe Staffing said: “It was a great event to be a part of and an honour to represent nurses from the region. We love our jobs and I go into work to do the best I can for each and every patient every day. However, more staff would make this so much easier for us and have a positive impact on patient care.”

The RCN is also campaigning for investment of at least £1 billion a year in nurse education, to attract and retain a new generation of nurses and make nursing a viable career option for people from all backgrounds.

This event was kindly sponsored by Norman Lamb MP and Baroness Watkins of Tavistock. To sign up to support your local nursing community with their campaign, visit:

Page last updated - 16/12/2019