Letter: Boris Johnson’s ridiculous promise to recruit 50,000 more nurses

Nurses, picture by Donald MacLeodNurses, picture by Donald MacLeod
Nurses, picture by Donald MacLeod
This letter sent to the Star was written by Jon Gardner RN, With the support of colleagues

We, the undersigned, are frontline nurses who have faced the reality of government mismanagement over the disastrous years of coalition and Conservative governments.

Boris Johnson’s ridiculous promise to recruit 50,000 more nurses – 40 per cent of whom are already employed by the NHS – would not be needed if they hadn’t spent the last nine years driving staff and services to breaking point.

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One in eight nursing posts is empty right now, meaning we can’t give the quality of care our patients deserve. Nurses lost more than four million work days due to stress last year, and the government has been no help.

We don’t believe the NHS in Sheffield will be better if the Tories win; we don’t believe the Conservatives will live up to their promises. Matt Hancock, Jeremy Hunt and Andrew Lansley should be remembered as health ministers who failed to understand their job; all three ignored nurses’ warnings on pay, retention, recruitment, funding, staffing levels, the student nurse bursary and public health. Nurses, the most trusted profession in the UK, warned that Conservative policy would be damaging not just to local services but the whole NHS across the whole country.

Sheffield has borne the brunt of austerity for the last nine years, and we believe that it is certainly not over yet. The impact on all public services has been huge, with local health services suffering cuts in both funding and staff which have undermined our ability to care for some of Sheffield’s most ill and vulnerable people.

Nurses’ organisations in general aren’t party political, but the health of our patients is more important than sitting on the fence. Only progressive policies like those presented by the Labour party can hope to mend our wounded NHS.

Jon Gardner RN

With the support of colleagues

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Ed Freshwater RNMH, Sharon Ankin RGN, Maria Gilroy RN, Anthony Johnson, Health Visitor, Georgina Parisi RN, Antonia Berelson RN, Danielle Tiplady RN, Candy Gregory RN, Juliet Lusted, Andy Ridley RN/RMN, Lucy Shapcott RN, Clare McIntyre Registered nurse and health visitor.

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