Ensuring safe staffing levels in health services across Europe is one of four key priorities unveiled by the Royal College of Nursing in its manifesto for the upcoming European elections next month.
The manifesto, which was compiled after surveying the views of thousands of nurses, calls on election candidates to back policies to support nursing staff and ensure the best quality care.
These include championing “safe and transparent levels of staffing in safe and healthy workplaces” and ensuring an “appropriately educated, regulated and developed EU nursing workforce”.
“Prospective MEPs should listen to the voices of nursing staff”
The union also wants MEPs to support access to healthcare services amid economic difficulties across the EU, particularly among vulnerable groups.
Finally, it is calling for the promotion of healthier lifestyles and reductions in health inequalities through effective EU legislation and funding.
“The European Parliament has a vital role to play, which is why we are using our manifesto raise awareness of the key issues facing the nursing profession,” said RCN chief executive and general secretary Peter Carter.
“Prospective MEPs should listen to the voices of nursing staff and support these manifesto priorities in order to promote the best possible standards of patient care while ensuring a properly resourced, staffed and regulated workforce,” he said.
The RCN urged its members to get in touch with their local MEP candidates to highlight the manifesto and discuss the issues raised.
The college’s senior international adviser Susan Williams added: “The RCN will certainly be encouraging members to vote on May 22 to make sure that the nursing voice is heard loud and clear in Europe.”
The RCN European Election Manifesto and a guide to the European elections can be found on the union’s website.