The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) publish Election Manifesto

Nursing staff are stretched to their limit. Overworked, underpaid, at breaking point, they say.

10 Jun 2024| News

The RCN has published a General Election Manifesto. A ‘substantial’ pay rise for all nursing staff and the protection of the title ‘nurse’ are among the key policy calls of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) as it launched its general election manifesto last Monday.

In the introduction to the Manifesto, the RCN says:

“Nursing staff are with us from the moment we enter the world, to the moment we leave it. They are with us throughout our lives, providing care when we need it most, showing extraordinary dedication and professionalism.

That’s why the public trusts nursing staff more than any other profession. They understand our value, our commitment, and our expertise.

Yet, the profession continues to be understaffed. There are tens of thousands of nursing vacancies across the UK and several thousands in social care.

Nursing staff are stretched to their limit. Overworked, underpaid, at breaking point.

That’s why this must be a nursing election. When you invest in nursing, you invest in patients, you invest in society. We’re asking political parties and candidates for their passion and political will to bring our health and social care services back from the brink.

The Royal College of Nursing is proud to represent more than half a million members across the UK. We can’t stand by and accept more broken promises or inaction.

Unprecedented strikes over the past two years have emboldened our members. We’re ready to make sure our voices, and those of our patients and communities, are heard loud and clear.

Nursing staff are rightly angry, but we have the solutions to provide the profession with the fresh start it needs. During this election campaign, we won’t hold back in speaking up for our members and the people they devote their working lives to care for.

The public values nursing staff. Patients value nursing staff. We ask you to do the same.”

It goes on to list 12 top priorities:

We want:

1. Give all nursing staff a substantial pay rise and introduce automatic band 5 to 6 pay progression for NHS nurses.

2. Introduce safety-critical nurse-to-patient ratios in all care settings.

3. Provide legal protection for people raising concerns about unsafe staffing.

4. Fund mental health support for all nursing staff, provided by every employer.

5. Eradicate corridor care, and force reporting of it.

6. Commit to government-funded nursing degrees with a job guarantee for graduates.

7. Revoke legislation restricting the right to strike.

8. Protect the title ‘nurse’ in law.

9. End exploitation of health and social care workers and properly fund the sector.

10. Provide sufficient funding for continuing professional development.

11. End punitive immigration policies which affect internationally educated nursing staff.

12. Increase overseas aid spending to tackle global nursing shortages.

You can read the full manifesto in pdf format here.