Members of the Royal College of Nursing will lobby for NHS staff to receive priority treatment from the health service when they are sick at this year’s RCN Congress in Bournemouth.
Delegates are due to debate a resolution put forward by the college’s Inner North East London branch, calling for RCN support for frontline healthcare staff to be fast-tracked for treatment.
In a statement supporting its resolution, the branch said the Boorman report on NHS health and wellbeing, published last year, set out the case for fast-tracking NHS staff. It added that a pilot scheme in Scotland had shown that rapid access to physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and mental health support, was found to be cost effective and successful in rehabilitating staff back to work.
The call follows a Nursing Times survey, published earlier this month, which found 79 per cent of respondents thought their trust did not give enough priority to nurse health and wellbeing.
If congress delegates pass the resolution, the RCN’s council will be required to lobby government on the issue.
RCN Congress will also debate resolutions calling for a learning disability liaison nurse to be appointed to every hospital, that first aid training should be mandatory in schools, and that directors of nursing – rather than general NHS managers – should be responsible for line managing nurses.
Speaking in support of the resolution on learning disabilities, Regional director for the RCN Eastern region Karen Webb said: “Patients with learning disabilities are more vulnerable to health problems, have specific health needs and as such require specialist nursing care. Such specialist nurses, as in other fields, can help to enhance quality of life, reduce hospital admissions and help families cope with specific conditions.”