Letter to Editor: Change law to address shortage of nurses

Politics / Sun 31st Mar 2019 at 05:34pm

Dear Editor,

THE NHS is currently consulting on possible changes to the law that could make it easier to bring in the big ideas for the health service set out in the NHS Long Term Plan.

As nursing’s biggest professional union, we at the Royal College of Nursing believe there is a conspicuous gap in what the NHS is suggesting. The gap is nurses, or rather the lack of them.

It’s a gap that has become too big, and too big a risk, to ignore. It’s a gap that leaves existing nurses under intolerable pressure and which threatens to compromise people’s care unless it is addressed urgently and underpinned by legislation.

There are nearly 40,000 nursing posts in England that are unfilled. This has happened because no one has been responsible for ensuring there are enough nurses. This must change.

We are inviting patients, their families and the public to join our call for a change to the law to address the shortage of nurses and protect patient care. Please tell the NHS what you think by completing our online form at http://rcn.eaction.org.uk/NHS-consultation.

Yours sincerely,

Anne Wells, RCN Eastern safe staffing campaign lead

Teresa Budrey, RCN Eastern Regional Director

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