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Scottish Labour promises boost for nurse numbers

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Scottish Labour pledges 1000 more nurses Scottish Labour pledges 1000 more nurses

RCN Scotland has welcomed the Scottish Labour Party's pledge for 1000 more nurses if they are elected in this year's election.
Theresa Fyffe, the director of RCN Scotland, said: 'We would welcome any serious investment in our nursing workforce as would the many hard-pressed nurses currently working in our NHS. We have consistently called for increased investment in our nursing workforce to help relieve the pressure on services caused by increased demand day in day out. And health boards have shown that they recognise more nurses are needed to meet the needs of patients by trying to recruit more, which is encouraging.'
Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy, announced yesterday that the Labour party's UK-wide mansion tax will be used to fund 1000 more nurses in Scotland.
Speaking in Edinburgh, Mr Murphy unveiled this as the first election pledge for Labour in Scotland.
The majority of this tax (95 per cent) will come from the South East of England but Mr Murphy said that 'the benefits will be felt across the UK.' The tax will provide Westminster with more money to be distributed to Scotland.This will equate to £250m for Scotland.
Mr Murphy said: 'When we talk of loved ones who have been cared for so brilliantly by the NHS, so often what we actually mean is cared for by NHS nurses.
'We will support the NHS and nurses and use the money from a UK mansion tax to fund an additional 1000 NHS nurses in Scotland over and above the SNP plans that we inherit.'
Mr Murphy acknowledged that the NHS will always be one the biggest issues in UK and Scottish politics.
The Scottish Labour party has identified mental health, health visitors and A&E as areas that require funding. Nurses in community palliative care and specialist nurses such as cancer specialists were also `cknowledged as an area of high pressure. They are often required to pick up general duties so are unable to perform as many of their specialities. Scottish Labour has also pledged to at least double the number of motor neurone disease nurses as there are currently only seven treating 400 patients.
However, Ms Fyffe also stated that just putting more nurses in posts required more than money.
'It takes time to develop nurses with the right knowledge and skills to care for patients. What we need is a whole system review of health and social care to ensure that we understand how many nurses and other health and social care staff we need, and what investment is required to develop them, to continue to meet the needs of patients now and in the future,' she said.
A spokesperson from the Scottish Labour party said that more detail on the distribution of nurses in hospitals and in the community would be revealed in the days coming up to the election on 7 May.

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