Why nurses should make their voices heard and use their vote in the forthcoming election

Healthcare professionals should vote for the candidate they think could make a sustainable difference to health and social care

Illustration of people voting
Picture: iStock

Whether we want to acknowledge it or not, we are all engaged in leadership and politics.

We represent the biggest workforce in healthcare systems across the world and, as reflected in the latest Nursing Management aticles online, we have a responsibility to use our voice well.

How satisfying it would be if every nurse, midwife, support worker and healthcare assistant voted in the forthcoming general election for the candidate they thought could make a sustainable difference to health and social care.

After all, there is a pressing need to invest in staff – as well as in public health, resources and buildings – and to address ongoing unacceptable health inequalities.

Investing in healthcare is a political choice

We know some colleagues walk away from our profession, not because they no longer want to be nurses or midwives, but because they no longer feel supported to fulfil their roles.

As RCN general secretary Dame Donna Kinnair says, responding to recent election announcements: ‘Individual nursing staff and the public are too often left carrying risk when shifts are short-staffed.

‘Investing in our health and care services is a political choice.’

How we vote on 12 December is personal but the choice to vote or not to vote is a political statement and a reflection of how we see ourselves as leaders in our profession.

As leaders and as political people who believe that every individual matters, we need to ensure our voice is heard.

Barry QuinnBarry Quinn, @barryquinn2019, is Macmillan director of nursing for cancer/senior leturer, Barts Health NHS Trust, London; and consultant editor of Nursing Management