Nurses are the superheroes of our healthcare system. They are there for us when we’re at our most vulnerable, are entrusted to care for our loved ones and even help us bring our children into the world.
We are indebted to these women and men who improve the lives of millions with outstanding care – day in, day out.
Here are just some ways we are supporting our nurses and midwives.
1. Health funding is at a record high at over £13.1 billion and there are 12,400 more people working in our NHS than when the SNP came to office.
2. There are more qualified nurses and midwives since the SNP came to office – up more than 2,200.
3. We are lifting the pay cap, guaranteeing a minimum increase of 3 per cent for staff who earn up to £36,500. This will mean that a Band 5 nurse will receive a pay rise of £870 in 2018-19.
4. Nurses in Scotland are already better paid than anywhere else in the UK. A nurse in Scotland, at Band 5, is paid up to £312 more than their English counterparts.
5. By 2021 we will increase the number of nursing and midwifery training places by 2,600 to a record high of 12,000. This year the number of student nurses and midwives entering education will increase for the sixth year in a row.
6. We will introduce a Safe Staffing Bill to enshrine safe staffing levels for our NHS in law. Scotland is already leading the UK in developing mandatory planning tools so health boards have the right number of staff, providing the best possible care.
7. We are protecting free university tuition and the non-means tested, non-repayable nursing and midwifery student bursary. This is in stark contrast to the decision of the Tory government, which has removed free tuition and bursaries entirely.
8. We are investing an extra £3 million of financial support a year to help parents or carers enter the profession. This support will help up to 1000 of our most in need students.
9. A review into widening access to nursing has been conducted. Reporting in December 2017, the review made a number of recommendations on how to encourage people from a more diverse range of backgrounds into nursing.