This is what you have been writing to us about this week.

As we approach Nurses’ Day 2021 (May 12), RCN South East would like to say a heartfelt thank you to the public for their support and kind words over the last year.

It has helped nursing staff to keep going during challenging times when they felt they could carry on no longer.

But we’d now like to ask for your support as we fight for the very future of our profession and our ability to provide the best possible care to patients.

We are asking for fair pay for nursing – a 12.5% pay rise which exceeds the 1% you have heard that the government believes the profession should receive.

You will hear government ministers say that nursing staff have had a pay rise – but staff are worse off now than they were 10 years ago after years of unfair pay freezes and below-inflation pay awards.

You will hear that the government cannot afford to give nursing staff a decent pay rise.

The reality is they cannot afford not to. Across England there are still tens of thousands of nursing vacancies and we know many staff are now considering leaving the profession after their experiences over the past year.

Staff already feel they are often unable to provide the best levels of care due to staffing and service pressures. Patient care will suffer further if we cannot attract and retain staff in nursing.

The government would like to divide us, pitting nursing staff against non-nursing staff with the aim of weakening us. They hope we’ll go away. But the truth is that we care about patients and patient care.

As we fight for our profession, we fight on your behalf as well. Do not let those in power make you believe this isn’t true.

This Nurses’ Day please show your support for nursing in any way you can and back us as we fight for nursing across the south east and beyond.

Find out more about our campaigning work by visiting and please join us in our quest to protect the vital health services you all need and deserve.

Patricia Marquis, South East Regional Director, Royal College of Nursing

To send your own letter, email

Please note, any letters sent to the Bucks Free Press office are only being picked up periodically as all staff are still working from home.