Shadow health secretary Jon Ashworth has said that community nursing will face a ‘crisis’ without further investment, in an exclusive interview with Nursing in Practice’s sister publication Pulse.
Mr Ashworth warned that there is also likely to be a ‘huge retirement rate in practice nursing in the next few years’ without ‘more investment in the primary care workforce’.
The Labour MP from Leicester South said that there must also be further investment in the public health workforce, including health visitors and school nurses.
He told Pulse: ‘The team of NHS staff working in the community are absolutely vital in keeping people well, which should impact on general practice pressures.’
If elected, Labour announced yesterday that it would invest £1 billion in restoring the training bursary for nurses, midwives and allied health professionals in England follow its removal in 2017.
The pledge forms part of a £26 billion ‘rescue plan’ for the NHS promised by Labour, which would see an annual spending boost of 4.3% over the next four years.
Labour would also recruit an extra 4,800 health visitors and school nurses, and invest £35 million a year in improving vaccination uptake.
Last month, the Institute of Health Visiting revealed that the number of health visitors has fallen from 10,309 to 7,026 since 2015, representing a 31.8% drop.