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The global profile of nurses must be raised, urge MPs

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Nurses are a key part of global healthcare Nurses are a key part of the global healthcare workforce

The UK can help to improve the face of nursing gloablly, a new report by the All Party Parliamentary Group for Global Health has said.

The report stated that the UK can work with its partners in the Commonwealth, Europe and elsewhere as well as international agencies including the World Health Organization and the World Bank to raise the profile of nursing.

The report sets out a number of recommendations that should be undertaken by all health services across the globe to strengthen the nursing workforce and to have a triple impact; improve health, promote gender equality and support economic growth.

Group chair Dr Dan Poulter MP said of the report recommendations: 'Nurses make an invaluable contribution to caring for patients all over the world and can often be the sole providers of healthcare for many people in lower and middle income countries. This report makes strong recommendations about how Britain can better develop and expand upon the valuable contribution made by the nursing workforce to improving global health.'

The recommendations include:

  • Raising the profile of nurses.
  • Supporting plans to educate and employ more nurses globally.
  • Developing nurse leaders and nurse leadership.
  • Enabling nurses to work to their full potential.
  • Collecting and disseminate evidence of the impact of nursing on access, quality and costs and ensuring it is incorporated into policy.
  • Developing nursing to have a triple impact on health, gender equality and economies.
  • Promoting partnership and mututal learning between the UK and other countries.

However, the group raised concerns that the UK's vote to leave the EU has created a significant risk that the UK will lose some of the EU nationals working in the NHS and will be unable to recruit more from the EU the APPG believes that the UK needs to find ways to ensure that EU citizens and remain working for the NHS and to increase levels of nurse education to meet its own needs.

Janet Davies, the chief executive of the Royal College of Nursing, said that Britain must 'lead by example' in making nursing the heart of the health service.

'In Britain, the need to train more nurses is undeniable, and the vote to leave the European Union means that improving the domestic supply of nurses should be an immediate priority. This report makes abundantly clear that the nursing workforce should not be seen as a cost to be managed or reduced, but an investment in our future health, economic prosperity and gender equality,' she added.

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