Health secretary Hancock raises smiles over how his ‘50,000 more nurses’ pledge has been received

Minister was speaking at launch of Florence Nightingale Foundation academy

Minister was speaking at launch of Florence Nightingale Foundation academy

Matt Hancock was in tongue-in-cheek mood 

Health secretary Matt Hancock mounted a tongue-in-cheek defence of his pledge to increase nurse numbers, when he addressed a nursing audience last night.

Mr Hancock told a Florence Nightingale Foundation reception that critics of the '50,000 more nurses' policy did not understand the maths.

Minister addressed criticism of his numbers

There was laughter when the minister, in apparent nod to the widespread scepticism the policy has attracted, said: 'You might have heard, I don't know whether you have – we have made a commitment to 50,000 more nurses.

'Not necessarily 50,000 new nurses, although, it’s interesting that there are more new nurses coming in over the next five years than 50,000. But let’s not let those who can’t understand the maths – the difference between new and more – to get in the way of good policy.’

Florence Nightingale Foundation’s vision for applying the evidence to policy and practice

The event was the official launch of the Florence Nightingale Foundation’s academy. 

Foundation chief executive Greta Westwood, told Nursing Standard the academy will offer leadership development for nurses and midwives in the early stages of their career.

Its aims are to develop leaders, use scholars’ findings to improve evidence-based practice, and to turn the evidence into policy.

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