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RCN responds to RCP report on NHS staff health and wellbeing

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has responded to the report published by the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) that showed the deficiency of staff health and well-being programmes in NHS trusts.

Dr Peter Carter, chief executive and general secretary of the RCN, said: “This report shines a light on one of the most serious issues facing the NHS. The Boorman review demonstrated the importance of staff health and wellbeing programmes for NHS organisations more than five years ago, yet this appears to have been ignored by too many trusts.”

Dr Carter added: “A healthy workforce is essential for an effective health care service. In the current climate of decreasing budgets and staff shortages, it is essential that the NHS take care of their workers if they are to retain skilled members of staff and provide the levels of care patients deserve.

“As the report illustrates, a strong and engaged workforce can reap significant benefits, from improved patient safety to greater value for money. Healthy, engaged staff are far more able to provide excellent care to their patients.

“Nurses are some of the hardest working people in the UK and deserve to feel healthy and motivated in their professional lives. NHS organisations need to acknowledge this issue and take action: financial and contractual incentives need to incorporate mechanisms, which promote staff wellbeing across the NHS.”