All political parties must remember that ‘nursing counts’ as the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) publishes its manifesto for the coming general election.
With party manifestos due in the coming weeks, the RCN has published its own independent manifesto which calls on candidates across the political spectrum to pledge support to ‘improving patient care, valuing nursing and investing in health and social care’.
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Immediately following Theresa May’s announcement that a snap election will take plan on 8 June, several nursing and medical organisations made similar calls to all parties to ‘invest in the NHS’. Nursing Counts is the RCN’s comprehensive follow-up to their initial statement.
Chief executive Janet Davies said: ‘The last thing public services need are sums that do not add up and irresponsible politicians offering ‘cheques in the post’. Slogans on buses and un-costed wish-lists let patients down and they must avoid the temptation.'
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Nursing Counts divides its three key concerns into nine points of action for parties to focus on.
Improve patient care:
- Safe and effective staffing
- Access to specialist nursing services
- Regulation of healthcare support workers
- Fair pay
- Guaranteed right to remain for EU nursing staff
- Prevent downbanding and substitution
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Invest in health and social care:
- Investment in services
- Put quality of care at the heart of health and care services
- Protect and grow the workforce
‘The party leaders must put patients before politics this election by either committing the hard cash and numbers of staff the NHS needs or being honest with patients about what can be done. They deserve more than sticking plasters and warm words,’ Ms Davies said.
‘Nurses should not have to fund the NHS deficit from their own pay packets. After the election, for the sake of patient safety, the Government must scrap the pay cap and fill the tens of thousands of vacant jobs.’
The Nursing Counts web page also features a calculator which tells nurses what they ‘should’ be earning based on their current annual salary and taking into account how nursing pay has stalled against inflation.
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It will also soon feature resources which will allow RCN members to support the manifesto.