I have pledged to support the Royal College of Nursing’s ‘Nursing Counts’ campaign.

The campaign calls to improve patient care by ensuring safe staffing levels, by valuing nurses by paying them a fair wage and investing in health and social care by guaranteeing no more cuts to the nursing workforce.

I have been a member of the Commons Health Select Committee and I have heard much evidence about the pressures affecting the NHS. Nurses and health care workers are working hard to provide the very best care for patients under difficult circumstances but lack of staff is a key issue.

A Labour Government would recruit 8,000 GPs, 3,000 more midwives, 5,000 new homecare workers and 20,000 new nurses, paid for through its £2.5 billion ‘Time to Care Fund’.

Unlike the Conservatives, Labour will listen to independent national pay review bodies so that NHS workers will be fairly paid.

Labour will also make sure that NHS staff are listened to and are valued in their workplace. Labour will create a new NHS staff champion to help improve workplace culture and cut the high rates of work-related stress, bullying and violence that too many staff face. We will also take a ‘zero-tolerance’ approach to physical or verbal abuse against people who work in our NHS. We want all NHS and care staff to receive training on whistleblowing so they can feel empowered to raise concerns without fear.

If I am re-elected on May 7th, I will continue to campaign for policies which value nurses and the essential role they play in the NHS and for safe staffing levels.

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