Commenting on today's announcement a Labour Government will recruit 2,900 more nurses in the South East of England, Sarah Owen Labour's candidate for MP for Hastings and Rye and former NHS Care Assistant said: “Earlier this week I met with local nurses and Care Assistants here in Hastings, so it does not come as a surprise to me, or most people using the NHS, that many wards are dangerously understaffed. Labour’s commitment today to recruit 2,900 more nurses here in the South East will go a long way ensure our beloved NHS has time to care.
"One day when I was a Care Assistant in Hastings, I went to a woman's home and she was in a terrible state, I knew it was going to take longer than the 15 minutes I was given to provide the care she desperately needed. So I took as long as necessary but my phone kept ringing and ringing. It was the care manager. She called to tell me I was late for my next appointment. I explained the situation and that my next appointment was just cleaning a house, my boss told me my next client was a private client and that I was losing a lot of money.
“If we want a world-class NHS, that means having enough nurses with time care for patients, and transforming services so the NHS can meet future health challenges.”
Under the Tories, nurse numbers have failed to keep pace with demand. More than half of nurses say their ward is dangerously understaffed and there are fewer community and district nurses.
Andy Burnham MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Health, said:
“David Cameron has brought the NHS to the brink. There are too few staff on our wards, the bill for agency nurses is out of control and hospitals are forced to travel overseas to recruit nurses because of Cameron’s cuts to nurse training places.
“This cannot carry on. Labour will recruit more nurses in every region of England and 2,900 in the South East. We want this new generation of nurses to be home-grown and will offer young people a new ladder into the NHS.
“This will help build an NHS with time to care, that starts in people’s homes, ends the scandal of 15-minute visits and helps keep people out of hospital.”
Labour will recruit 20,000 more nurses by 2020, meaning significant increases in nurse numbers in every region which will include 2,900 here in the South East of England. This is part of a new generation of NHS staff, working to join up services from home to hospital.
Labour will fund these extra nurses through our Time to Care Fund – raised from new policies including a cracking down on tax avoidance and a new levy on tobacco firms.