This site is intended for healthcare professionals only

Government pledges are hollow words without workforce

Written by: | Published:

Concern has been raised at staff shortages Concern has been raised at staff shortages

Without action to address staff vacancies in the NHS, plans outlined in the Queen’s Speech will not be achieved, the RCN has said.

The Queen's Speech focused on measures to grow and strengthen the economy. It proposed a levelling up and regeneration bill to enshrine the government’s flagship policy and to hold the government itself accountable for reporting on progress against the levelling up white paper’s missions.

To read more, visit:

‘Ministers say supporting the NHS to clear the COVID-19 backlog is one of their key priorities – but without the workforce to do it these are only hollow words. Their levelling-up agenda is front and centre of their legislative plans, but the playing field in nursing is far from even,’ said RCN General Secretary and Chief Executive, Pat Cullen.

‘With tens of thousands of vacancies in health and care across the country, nursing staff are facing a losing battle in trying to provide safe and effective care without the staff to do it. Clearing the COVID-19 backlog is just one part of the picture – there has been a sharp rise in people leaving the profession in the last year. Without a credible workforce plan, patients will continue to suffer.’

Health-specific announcements included the draft Mental Health Act reform bill and the conversion therapy bill. While the Government’s intentions were praised, concern has been raised about the viability of the plans.

‘Plans for reforms of the Mental Health Act are a step in the right direction, but that also requires a fully-funded workforce plan,’ added Ms Cullen.

‘Despite government rhetoric today, the number of unfilled nurse jobs in the NHS is not coming down.’

What do you think? Leave a comment below or tweet your views to @IndyNurseMag

This material is protected by MA Healthcare Ltd copyright.
See Terms and Conditions.



Please view our Terms and Conditions before leaving a comment.

Change the CAPTCHA codeSpeak the CAPTCHA code

Read a free issue from Practice Nursing

Register to read a free issue from our sister publication, Practice Nursing.

Including articles on asthma, diabetes and more. Read your copy.


Sign up to the newsletter


Independent Nurse is the professional resource for primary care and community nurses, providing clinical articles for practice nurses and prescribers.


Subscribe to our newsletter and stay up to date with the latest nursing news.

Stay Connected

Stay social with Independent Nurse by following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook or connecting on LinkedIn.


Need access to some of our older articles? You can view our archive, or alternatively contact us.

Contact Us

MA Healthcare Ltd.
St Jude's Church, Dulwich Road
London, SE24 0PB

Tel: +44 (0)20 7738 5454
Registered in England and Wales No. 01878373

Meet the team


Find out how to contribute to Independent Nurse here.