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Royal College of Nursing responds to Westminster Hall debate on legal duties of Health and Social Care Secretary

Press Release 17/07/2019

Royal College of Nursing responds to Westminster Hall debate on legal duties of Health and Social Care Secretary

Commenting on today’s Westminster Hall debate on the legal duties of the Health and Social Care Secretary, convened by Eleanor Smith MP, Royal College of Nursing Chief Executive and General Secretary Dame Donna Kinnair said:

“40,000 nursing vacancies prove that the current system is not working, and needs reform. Today MPs from across the house voiced the undeniable truth that unless we have more staff, health and care services can’t be delivered safely and effectively, let alone reformed.  Their constituents are facing the consequences of this every day, so pressure on Ministers can only grow as this crisis drags on.

“The Government used this opportunity to give support for the principles of achieving clearer and more explicit accountability for staffing health and care services, but does not yet agree with RCN members that this must be in law. The incoming Prime Minister and his team will have much to gain by gripping this issue, and much to lose by allowing staff and their patients to bear the cost of further inaction.”


Notes to Editors

At a Royal College of Nursing event held in Parliament on 16 July, more than 50 nursing staff and nursing students delivering care across hospitals, care homes and community settings met MPs and Peers from all parties to discuss their experiences of under staffing.  Over 100 Parliamentarians present included Minister of State for Health Stephen Hammond MP, Shadow Health and Social Care Secretary John Ashworth MP, Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry MP, and Minister of State for Apprenticeships and Skills and Anne Milton MP.

Speakers at today’s debate, which ran from 2.30-4.00pm, included Tim Farron MP, Derek Thomas MP and Karen Lee MP. The Government response was led by Minister of State for Health and Social Care Stephen Hammond MP.

The full debate can be viewed here

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