Female nurse in discussion with a colleague

RCN: A wake-up call to invest in the nursing workforce

Following the publication of the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) annual report, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has issued a plea for further investment into the nursing workforce, highlighting the strain which has been caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The report investigated the state of health and social care services in England over the past year and praised the efforts of nursing staff caring in the pandemic.

However, it also highlighted how Covid-19 has led to greater inequalities in patient care and demonstrated a clear and urgent need for reform, investment and workforce planning.

Particularly in social care, the pandemic has not only exposed pre-existing problems, but exacerbated many of them.

Already a fragile sector, it faced significant challenges around access to PPE, testing and staffing – while co-ordinated support was less readily available than for the NHS.

Similarly, it demonstrated the disparate impact Covid-19 was having on those already likely to have poorer health outcomes, including people from deprived areas and black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds.

As such, the report stressed the importance of ensuring health and care services were more closely designed around people’s individual needs.

Responding to the report, Chief Executive and General Secretary of the RCN, Dame Donna Kinnair, said: “This report demonstrates the pressures nursing staff witness every day.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has magnified the inequalities faced by many in the health and care system. For many, such as those from BAME communities, access to services has only got worse.

“The lack of investment in areas such as social care has pushed services to the edge putting the care of patients at real risk.

“This should be a wake-up call which leads to a truly integrated health and care system that puts the long-term care of patients at its heart.

“There now needs to be proper investment in the entire workforce so patients can receive high quality care wherever and whenever they need it.

“We share the view that this needs to include training and progression that retains the skilled and experienced nursing workforce we already have, but also attracts new nurses to grow the workforce for the long-term.

“Now is the time for the government to act to protect patients, staff and the long-term ability of the health and care system to deliver the care patients need.”

NHE Sept/Oct 21

NHE Sept/Oct 21

Improving care for long-term conditions

Join us in our September/October edition of National Health Executive, as we explore a range of topics impacting and improving the care that we can deliver to patients, the facilities within which we deliver them, and the opportunities in the digital space to accent and evolve our care capabilities

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National Health Executive Presents

NHE365 Virtual Festival: Digital Healthcare

The integration of new technology, such as using virtual outpatient appointments instead of face-to-face reviews of patients in the hospital. Adapting the ways in which our NHS workers serve people has been critical in continuing to provide high-quality treatment, a positive patient experience and preventing Covid-19 transmission during the pandemic. Our healthcare sector has the potential to transform the way we continue to provide essential services while also improving patient care. But how easy is the integration of these innovations into routine NHS practice?

On the 28th of October, at the NHE365 Virtual Hospitals & Technology Enabled Care online event, we will be discussing patient flow and experience, reducing waiting times, reducing the patient backlog and increasing technology adoption. Will you be attending? 

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