THE majority of your readers will have had experience of nursing care, either directly through care they’ve received or from witnessing that given to family and friends.
However, many may be unaware of the current crisis in nursing which looks set to only get worse unless urgent action is taken now. Across England, there are 40,000 nursing posts vacant, with thousands more vacant posts across public health, social care and the independent sector. Shortages have a devastating effect on the morale and wellbeing of staff, as well as impacting on the care received by patients. The removal of bursaries for nursing students and the failure to train enough nurses has also contributed towards the current problems.
On 17 September – World Patient Safety Day – we, along with other members of the Royal College of Nursing, will be launching part of our safe staffing campaign aimed at letting the public know about the shortages and what we want the Government to do to tackle the problem.
Whether you work in healthcare, have been a patient or may need to access services in future, you can join the campaign to help get the Government to listen and act on our concerns. Please visit www.rcn.org.uk/safestaffing.
Anne Wells, Natalie Brooks and Laura Bird
Nurses and RCN Eastern safe staffing campaign leads