NCF has signed a joint letter calling for immediate action to recognise the importance of the nursing profession in social care and seeks solutions to the shortage of nurses in the UK.
National organisations working across the health and social care sector have submitted a joint letter to the UK Migration Advisory Committee this week. This letter reflects our collective interest in ensuring we have a competent and motivated workforce in sufficient numbers to deliver high quality and safe care to people in care homes with nursing.
The recruitment and retention of nursing staff is a significant issue for care providers and was addressed in the National Care Forum Personnel Statistics survey report 2015. The health and social care sector is experiencing unprecedented demand on services and this has a direct impact on the need for skilled clinical staff. The inability to recruit has led to organisations using temporary and agency staff, now one of the most significant causes of deteriorating finances in the NHS.
“The demand for trained nurses currently exceeds the available supply and the gap will not be bridged for some time as it takes four years to commission the extra places and to train a nurse.”
The joint signatories, including the Care Quality Commission, Skills for Care, the Royal College of Nursing and provider representatives, seek a pragmatic solution which enables health and social care employers to employ the clinical staff they have recruited from overseas in order to provide the responsive, high quality care people deserve.
An immediate action to endorse: “Recognition that nursing is a shortage occupation across the whole health and social care sector and to include the profession on the shortage occupation list.”
Des Kelly OBE, Executive Director of the National Care Forum said:
“Nurses play a vital role in adult social care and yet the recruitment of nurses in care settings has become increasingly more difficult. It is imperative that this situation is addressed as a priority if adult social care services are to be able to continue to support the NHS in an integrated and professional way.”