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nursing - action call on shortage


UNISON has called for international action to address the global shortage of nurses. The Department of Health has drawn up a code of practice intending to prevent the stripping of nurses and other health professionals from so-called third world countries by NHS Trusts in the UK. But the reality is that Britain has recruited over 35,000 Filipino nurses and stripped Zimbabwe, South Africa and West Africa of skilled and trainee nurses.

There would not be a shortage of nurses if the planning, training, recruitment and proper payment of nurses in Britain were put into place. If nurses' homes had not been sold off during the last 15 years, then there would not be the crisis of unaffordable housing in our major cities.

International action means starting at home and demanding jobs and training for staff here.

· TWENTY-FOUR student nurses, members of UNISON as well as college lecturers and domestic staff are campaigning to keep their nurses' home open in the face of threatened eviction. The nurses and staff at the Nurses Home 3, St Andrews Hospital, Newham, are threatened with eviction under the PFI proposals affecting Newham Healthcare Trust.

The campaign is targeting Newham Healthcare Trust and also the City University. A campaign is already under way with petitions in Newham and London healthcare branches. There are plans for a lobby and vigil of Parliament and a candlelit procession in early February.