Royal College of Nursing calls on Conservative Party leadership candidates to commit to investing in nursing and patient care

Press Release 05/07/2019

Letter Conservative Party leadership candidates calls on them to commit to investing in nursing and patient care

The Royal College of Nursing has today written to both the candidates in the race to be the next Conservative Party leader and Prime Minister, calling on them to substantially invest in and support the nursing profession as well as patient care.

The RCN is urging both candidates to take action to ensure nurses across the four countries of the UK are supported and ensure they have enough resources to enable them to give the safe and effective care patients deserve.

Ensuring there is clear accountability for the recruitment, retention, and remuneration of our current and future nursing workforce must be a priority for the next Prime Minister.

As part of this it is essential that there is clear accountability for growing and developing the workforce set out in law in all four countries of the UK.

We are not educating enough nursing staff to meet the needs of patients and too many nurses are leaving their jobs due to the pressures of their roles.

The letter calls on the candidates to ensure there is adequate funding and support not just for those studying to become the nurses of the future but also for the continuing professional development of the existing workforce. Only then can we grow the nursing workforce as well as retain the experienced workforce and be able to give patients the time and treatment patients need.

In the letter, Dame Donna Kinnair, RCN Chief Executive and General Secretary writes:

“Investing in the health and care workforce supports good health outcomes for our population which in turn, provides opportunities for growth and socio-economic mobility.

“It is reasonable for this to be the starting point of any decisions made by Government.”

The letter also calls on both candidates to end the uncertainty over Brexit and ensure we have an immigration system that can attract and enable international nursing staff with the right skills to work and remain in the sector.

The RCN is also asking members to tweet both candidates to take action to end the uncertainty and protect patient safety.



Notes to Editors

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) is the voice of nursing across the UK and is the largest professional union of nursing staff in the world. The RCN promotes the interest of nurses and patients on a wide range of issues and helps shape healthcare policy by working closely with the UK Government and other national and international institutions, trade unions, professional bodies and voluntary organisations.

For more information, contact the RCN press office at 020 7647 3633 or email 

Press Office Contacts

Daniel Sutherland, Senior Media Officer
020 7647 3695

Nick Spears, Senior Media Officer
020 7647 3696

Out of hours duty press officer
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