RCN vows to hold Conservatives to account over campaign pledges for nurses

Newly-elected Conservatives urged to tackle nursing shortages and release funds for students  

Newly elected Conservatives urged to tackle nursing shortages and release funds for students  

Picture: PA

Nursing shortages must be tackled 'urgently' and promised financial support for students 'released immediately', nursing leaders insisted after the Conservative Party's general election victory.

The RCN pledged to hold the Conservative government to account over health and care campaign pledges after the party won its biggest majority since 1987.

Pledge for 50,000 new nurses

Prime minister Boris Johnson repeated a pledge in his victory speech to recruit 50,000 new nurses.

The figure had been widely disputed after it emerged the number included 18,500 already working in the NHS.

Reacting to the election result, the RCN called for action on the estimated 44,000 shortage of nurses in England alone, and for the government to make good on its pledge for more funding for nursing students.

Nursing profession must be at the heart of the debate

RCN general secretary Dame Donna Kinnair added that members would be 'very vocal' over pay negotiations in 2020.

'Much was said about nursing during the election campaign, and now the nursing profession must be at the heart of the debate,' she added.

'Any attempts to row back from what patients need will be met with short shrift from the nurses who serve them.'

How nursing staff fared in the 2019 general election 

  • Maria Caulfield, registered nurse, retained her seat as Conservative MP for Lewes
  • Denise Donaldson, general nurse practitioner, stood as a Green Party candidate in Northamptonshire South, but the Conservatives held the seat
  • Karen Lee, trained nurse, lost her seat as Labour MP for Lincoln to the Conservatives
  • Ian Levy, healthcare assistant, was elected Conservative MP for Blyth Valley
  • Felicity Owen, retired nurse, stood as the Labour Party candidate for St Austell and Newquay, which was held by the Conservatives
  • Darren Parkinson, learning disability nurse, stood as the Green Party candidate for Bradford West where Labour held the seat
  • Eleanor Smith, theatre nurse, lost her seat as Labour MP for Wolverhampton South West to the Conservatives

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