Welcome to my Blog. I hope you find the posts interesting, informative and perhaps even entertaining(!). I'll update this Blog with my responses to topical stories of the day, important news and tales of my travels up and down the UK, meeting our inspirational nursing staff.

The RCN represents almost 400,000 nurses in the UK and is the country's largest nursing union.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Our time is now

Two weeks ago we launched our ‘Nursing Counts’ campaign and in the last fortnight, the response has been nothing short of fantastic. As I write this, over 80,000 people have watched our General Election film on both the RCN homepage and the dedicated website, almost 17,500 have signed up to our priorities and our Facebook page has over 2,700 fans.

This is exactly the sort of start that the campaign needed, but we mustn’t stop here. In order for the nursing voice to ring out loud and clear through the corridors of Westminster and beyond, we have to get as many people to speak up as possible. Our ‘Nursing Counts’ campaign will only be as strong as those willing to stand up for patients, nursing and healthcare.
This is where you come in.

Email this page to your friends, mention it in conversations, ask them to sign up, spread the word on Facebook, tweet the links and send in your photos. Our healthcare service stands at a cross roads, we can either chose to limit public spending and compromise patient care, or invest in services that we know deliver results and save lives.

Only last week we saw the latest figures on just how many people suffer from dementia in the UK, a figure that will keep on rising. When a person is diagnosed with dementia, the onus isn’t on the latest medicine or technological advancement, it’s on delivering long term care that will manage the symptoms and improve a lifestyle. This sort of care is delivered by nurses, sometimes in a hospital but more often than not in the patient’s home. The RCN is calling for all those suffering from long term conditions to be guaranteed specialist nursing care.

Our healthcare services will change over the next ten years, there will be more, not less, demand on those providing care. Do we want to cutback and reduce job numbers when we know what lies ahead? Or do we want to take this moment to invest in services that we know will be needed like never before? We must stand up and speak out against any future cuts, we must defend the rights of patients and promote the work of our nursing family.

I know that all of us have conflicting demands and a huge number of things on our to do list, but please, take five minutes to spread the word and start something incredible – our time is now.

Please visit http://generalelection.rcn.org.uk/ to show your support.

Monday, 1 February 2010

Politics counts, votes count, nursing counts.

The next General Election is going to matter; not just to your working life as a nurse but also to the lives of your patients. The coming months will see politicians of all parties set out their vision for the care of future generations.

Whatever happens over the next few weeks, the nursing voice must be heard. It's becoming clearer and clearer that after this election, in this new decade; fundamental decisions about the future of healthcare will be taken.

With an average of over 1,800 nurses and healthcare assistants living and voting in each constituency, parliamentary candidates and political parties know that the nursing family is one they cannot afford to ignore.

Whether or not you have a politician knocking on your door, it is up to us as nurses to make our voices heard in the debates over the future of the health service.

To recognise the sheer importance of this election, we have launched our ‘Nursing counts' campaign and with it, this exciting new website. From this site you'll be able to sign up to our manifesto pledges, send them on to friends and family, upload photos, watch our latest films and interact with Twitter and Facebook.

Nurses represent one of the largest and most significant voting blocs in the UK, if we use our voice to stand up for quality care, for sustained investment and for the bright future that we know patients deserve, we will make a difference.

Politics counts, votes count, nursing counts.

Get active now, visit www.rcn.org.uk/generalelection