Nurses take safe staffing message to Parliament

Members of the Royal College of Nursing will discuss their experiences of delivering care in hospitals, care homes and community settings in England at an event in Parliament.

More than 75 MPs and Peers from across all parties are expected to attend the event hosted by RCN members, where they will hear of the need for urgent action to tackle the workforce crisis and ensure patients receive safe, effective care.

One in 10 registered nurse posts are currently unfilled in the NHS in England, leaving a shortfall of around 40,000 nurses.

As well as sharing their experiences, the RCN will be asking their MP to support the college’s safe staffing campaign and to attend a Westminster Hall debate on 17 July. The debate will consider the Health Secretary’s legal duties for workforce planning and the supply of staff for the NHS in England.

Patricia Marquis, RCN England Director, said: “Health and care services 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 have a clear message for the government – change the law so that health and care services can’t be starved of much-needed staff.”

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