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Support your EU colleagues, urges England's chief nurse

Nurses from the EU face an 'uncertain future' and need our support, Jane Cummings said, as she opened her fifth Chief Nursing Officer Summit in Birmingham.
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Nurses from the EU face an 'uncertain future' and need our support, Jane Cummings said, as she opened her fifth Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) Summit in Birmingham.

Addressing nurses and midwives from across the country, England's chief nurse said: 'For as long as there has been a National Health Service, there have been nurses from other countries, and we have rightly celebrated the contribution of the 40,000 nurses who came from the Commonwealth to answer Aneurin Bevan's call.

'Today, around 4% of nurses and midwives in the NHS are from European Union countries.

'Colleagues from the EU face an uncertain future in coming months. They will need our support. They help represent the communities we care for

Nurses from the EU face an 'uncertain future' and need our support, Jane Cummings said, as she opened her fifth Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) Summit in Birmingham.


 Jane Cummings spoke at the CNO Summit in Birmingham and called for the status
of nursing to reflect the level of public support. Picture: Barney Newman

Addressing nurses and midwives from across the country, England's chief nurse said: 'For as long as there has been a National Health Service, there have been nurses from other countries, and we have rightly celebrated the contribution of the 40,000 nurses who came from the Commonwealth to answer Aneurin Bevan's call.

'Today, around 4% of nurses and midwives in the NHS are from European Union countries.

'Colleagues from the EU face an uncertain future in coming months. They will need our support. They help represent the communities we care for and we will continue to make them feel welcome.'

The CNO Summit is an event for senior nursing, midwifery and care leaders from across England to discuss some of the key issues affecting health and care.

'Tenacity, flexibility'

Professor Cummings told delegates she wanted nurses and midwives to take a leading role, as the NHS adapts to meet the needs of an ageing population.

'We can be proud of how the NHS has coped over the winter and in recent times,' she said.

'Working with tight resources has required tenacity and flexibility that I have seen on the front line.

'I continue to be inspired by the leadership and innovation that continues despite the pressures. Our profession focuses on the safety and experience of people like no other.' 

Public support

She talked about the need to demonstrate leadership on Sustainability and Transformation Plans, to deliver 'good care, improved health and lower cost'.

Professor Cummings also talked positively about the status of nurses. Last month, Nursing Standard revealed the CNO is to embark on a project to improve the image of nursing.

'I want to build on the fact that 93% of the population trust nurses,' she told the conference. 'This is a testament to your dedication, your hard work.

'Our standing as a profession should reflect this stratospheric level of public support, and so should our status.'

NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens and health secretary Jeremy Hunt are to speak later in the two-day conference.


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