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Ad unveiled to help public appreciate nurses

Royal College of Nursing begins hard-hitting PR campaign for nursing

Jo Carlowe

Monday, 17 September 2012

The Royal College of Nursing has launched a hard-hitting advertisement campaign to help the public better appreciate the work that nurses do.

The campaign follows a spate of bad publicity about poor nursing – not least the scandal at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust where patients died due to inadequate care.

The Patient Association has reported the bulk of complaints it receives centre on ‘poor nursing’ with patients complaining that they were not treated with dignity during their care, that they did not get fed and watered adequately, that sheets were not changed regularly and that pain relief was inadequate.

The RCN campaign, launched today, aims to change that perception. The adverts, part of an RCN initiative called This is nursing, will appear on buses in the UK’s major towns and cities, and underground stations in London. They reveal the breadth of skills in nursing and highlight the balance nursing strikes between expertise and compassion.

RCN Chief Executive & General Secretary Dr Peter Carter said it was time to celebrate the work nursing staff do on a daily basis.

“What we are doing today is showing the reality of nursing and how it takes both professionalism and compassion to be a nurse. We have all read the critical coverage of the nursing profession and we would never shy away from the cases of poor care when they exist. However, when poor care does exist, there are often systematic reasons behind it. This is nursing will also explore what these factors are and how they can be tackled,” he said.

Seven different areas of work are being considered as part of the campaign, including nurses’ attitudes and behaviour, safe staffing and the quality and principles of nursing practice. Other areas include leadership, education, a push for mandatory training and statutory regulation for healthcare assistant and an exploration of how to reduce the burden of paperwork.

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