Commenting on Health Secretary Sajid Javid’s announcement on Covid-19 winter plans today (Tuesday 14 September), RCN General Secretary and Chief Executive Pat Cullen, said:
"These measures will be key to getting us through the knife-edge winter we all fear. But nursing staff will be concerned at issues not referenced today.
"With more Covid-19 vaccinations to deliver as well as the flu programme, the shortages in the nursing workforce will be increasingly exposed. Neglecting to mention these issues does not mean they will go away.
“The COVID-19 and flu vaccination programme is absolutely part of the package to support those staff and minimise the winter pressures they are facing and any measures which reduce the severity and impact of either illness will be supported.
“But health and care staff are not an inexhaustible resource. The last year has shown that, without adequate support and protection, more staff are becoming ill and unable to work."