Supporting our NHS is one of my personal top priorities, and so I was very pleased to meet the Northamptonshire Branch of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) at Berrywood Hospital, Northampton.
The RCN works to support nurses throughout the NHS, and they recently invited me to meet them to discuss nursing and NHS England’s Long Term Plan.
In a good meeting we discussed a range of issues relevant to nursing and the NHS generally, including how investment can be delivered, the importance of maintaining nursing staff levels and possible changes that could further support nurses within our NHS.
The Government is investing heavily in the NHS, with £394 million per week extra pledged towards the NHS under the previous Prime Minister, and a further £1.8 billion more by our current Prime Minister, Boris Johnson.
In order to address the issue of staff retention within the nursing sector, the Government recently announced that £210 million more would be provided for frontline NHS staff. This includes funding for a £1,000 personal development budget for every nurse, midwife and allied health professional to support their personal learning and development needs over three years.
Nurses are such an integral and hugely valued part of our world class health system. I am very pleased that the Government is recognising the vital work that nurses do with extra funding, but there is always more that can be done and I will be raising with Health Secretary Matt Hancock, who visited Northampton General Hospital at my invitation a few months ago, some of the issues raised with me at this meeting.