Shadow health secretary hears real-life experiences from nursing profession

At RCN headquarters today (26 January) Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Wes Streeting MP (above, left) met with RCN members to hear their perspectives on the current challenges facing the nursing profession.

The RCN is hosting a series of political summits for its members. Last year we held a similar event with former Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Sajid Javid MP, and future events are planned with the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party. These events will lay the groundwork for the RCN’s general election campaigning and what we’re asking the political parties to do for the nursing profession.

The summit brought together members from a cross-section of RCN forums, committees, and different clinical areas, such as community care, acute care and research.

It opened with a short speech from Wes Streeting, followed by an open question and answer session with members.

RCN members at Labour health summit

The conversations covered NHS pay, safe staffing levels, nursing leadership, career progression, retention and recruitment, equality and inclusion, and nursing education.

RCN General Secretary & Chief Executive Pat Cullen welcomed Wes Streeting and explained to members that this is an “opportunity to speak about some of the issues that we are facing”.

She continued: “We are the largest professional nursing organisation in the world, and we should not, and will not, be ignored.

“I would like to remind any politician that there is a general election looming, and each one of our nursing staff will have their say in that election.”

RCN President Sheilabye Sobrany thanked Wes for a “fruitful and engaging conversation” and the members for “bringing ideas, enthusiasm and real-life experience to the fore”.

She added: “As we heard today, the nursing profession faces huge challenges but the determination of our members to safeguard the profession we love and for our patients remains unwavering.

“The RCN will be ready, whenever a general election is called, to take on the mantle and stand up for all nurses, our patients, and the health and care systems.” 

by Wendy
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