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Look after your staff, RCN chair of council urges employers

Organisations must support nurses' well-being if they are to deliver high standards of care.
Michael Brown

Employers must look after their staff if they expect nurses to deliver high standards of care, the RCN chair of council has said.

Michael Brown was speaking at the RCN Wales nurse leadership summit in Cardiff on 15 March, entitled Resilience and Agility Equates to Excellent Nursing Care.

Mr Brown told delegates that using the recently updated RCN toolkit, Healthy Workplace, Healthy You , could help tackle burnout and build resilience among staff.

The toolkit is aimed at healthcare employers and RCN workplace representatives to create healthy working environments. It covers five key areas: work-life balance, dignity at work, healthy and safety, job design, and learning and development.

Strong partnerships

Mr Brown said: We want to establish partnerships between employers and staff to ensure

Employers must look after their staff if they expect nurses to deliver high standards of care, the RCN chair of council has said.


RCN chair of council Michael Brown. Picture: John Houlihan

Michael Brown was speaking at the RCN Wales nurse leadership summit in Cardiff on 15 March, entitled Resilience and Agility Equates to Excellent Nursing Care.

Mr Brown told delegates that using the recently updated RCN toolkit, Healthy Workplace, Healthy You, could help tackle burnout and build resilience among staff.

The toolkit is aimed at healthcare employers and RCN workplace representatives to create healthy working environments. It covers five key areas: work-life balance, dignity at work, healthy and safety, job design, and learning and development.

Strong partnerships

Mr Brown said: ‘We want to establish partnerships between employers and staff to ensure the stress of the job is not further added to.

‘Making sure staff take proper rest breaks, have access to healthy food and hot meals, and stay hydrated, are all ways employers can help nurses cope with the pressures of a 12-hour shift.’

Mr Brown said results of the NHS Wales Staff Survey 2016 showed some staff were struggling to handle the conflicting demands of doing their jobs while making sure their own needs were met.

He added: ‘When nurses are supported emotionally and developmentally, they are known to be far more likely to enjoy a long and happy career.'

Healthy workplaces

The RCN defines healthy workplaces as those that:

  • Provide fair pay and rewards, and have high quality employment practices and procedures that promote a good work-life balance.
  • Offer dignity at work.
  • Protect and promote employees’ health and safety at work.
  • Design jobs that provide employees with a degree of autonomy and control, and offer equitable access to training and learning and development opportunities.

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