Nursing union the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has backed the recommendations made in a new Parliamentary committee report on the UK’s nursing workforce, which says that not enough attention has been put on keeping nurses in the NHS.
The Health Select Committee report makes some strong suggestions on what is required to reduce the number of nurses leaving the profession. Earlier this month new NHS data showed the extent of nurses leaving the NHS, and the parliamentary report says this is down to: “…workload pressures, poor access to continuing professional development, pay and a general sense of not feeling valued.”
The report comes after an inquiry which heard evidence from RCN Chief Executive Janet Davies, who stressed that in order to improve retention rates of nurses they need access to continuing professional development (CPD).
Subsequently, the Select Committee’s report calls for Health Education England to reverse the cuts to CPD budgets for nurses and for NHS funding to be ring-fenced for nurses’ training. It also recommends that EU nurses should be given more assurances about their right stay in the UK after Brexit.
RCN Chief Executive and General Secretary Janet Davies said:
It’s clear the Health Committee has listened to the views of frontline nursing staff and made practical suggestions on what must be done to value the profession to improve retention and raise morale.
The Government must now also listen and respond to these recommendations. This is the latest in a litany of calls for investment in the existing and future nursing workforce. Without action, nursing will remain on its current dangerous path. This report should make for sober reading inside the corridors of power.