There are today close to 6,000 fewer nurses in the NHS than when this Government came to power. As a result, too many hospitals in England do not have safe staffing levels.
I have repeatedly warned the Government about nurse numbers falling to dangerous levels. This new focus on recruitment is overdue but it shouldn’t have taken this long and it won’t be enough to repair the damage of three years of falling nurse numbers on David Cameron’s watch. He is allowing the NHS to go into a dangerous winter with a shortage of nurses and with increasing numbers of older people being admitted because of this Government’s deep cuts in social care.
Labour is committed to safe staffing levels in hospitals based on expert advice. The Government is yet to deliver a convincing plan for bringing all hospitals in England back up to safe staffing levels.