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Janet Davies: Support our campaign for legislation on safe staffing across the UK

Short staffing is a year-round problem that hits even harder in winter. We need a commitment to safe staffing levels and more investment in nursing across health and social care, says RCN chief executive Janet Davies

Short staffing is a year-round problem that hits even harder in winter. We need a commitment to safe staffing levels and more investment in nursing across health and social care, says RCN chief executive Janet Davies


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We are in the middle of a long winter, and it’s hard to get away from daily reports of missed targets, cancelled operations and rising flu cases.

A lot of the focus is on emergency departments (ED), because we know seasonal pressures make it increasingly difficult for ED staff to provide safe patient care. But winter affects all aspects of nursing, with staff across the country currently working in overstretched and underfunded services.

Coping with winter pressures is made even more challenging by the severe lack of staff.

Particularly tough

Short staffing is a year-round problem, but it hits even harder in winter. It feels particularly tough this year, with nurses on busy, understaffed wards working long after their shifts finish, worrying constantly about the standard of care they are able to deliver under these circumstances.

Sadly, some have even written to me saying they are leaving the NHS because they cannot continue to work like this.

The pressures faced by the health service will not go away when spring and summer arrive. It is clear we need a commitment to safe staffing levels and more investment in nursing staff across health and social care.

I hope you will continue to support our safe staffing campaign, and back our call for legislation that ensures safe and effective staffing in each country of the UK.


Janet Davies is RCN chief executive and general secretary 
 

 

 

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