Health workforce

Triple Impact – how developing nursing will improve health, promote gender equality and support economic growth

17 October 2016 - A new report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Global Health (APPG) ” Triple Impact – how developing nursing will improve health, promote gender equality and support economic growth” calls for raising the profile of nursing globally and enabling nurses to work to their full potential if countries are to achieve universal health coverage. The report argues that increasing the number of nurses, and developing nursing, will also have the wider triple impact of improving health, promoting gender equality and supporting economic growth.

Released today, the report is the result of a review of nursing globally, undertaken by the APPG, who have over the last few months, held a number of hearings, collecting evidence and holding consultations on the findings with the Royal College of Nurses, International Council of Nurses, the World Health Organization and others.

The findings of the review resonate with the recent work of the High-Level Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth, which has demonstrated the links between investments in the health workforce and economic growth. This report argues that the employment of nurses will also generate benefits in health and gender equality.

The AAPG review outlines a radical agenda and argues that the UK should play a major role in developing nursing globally. The APPG recommends that the UK government, together with the Commonwealth Secretariat, the European Union, the World Health Organization (WHO) and other international agencies, work to:

  • Raise the profile of nursing and make it central to health policy
  • Support plans to increase the number of nurses being educated and employed globally in line with the WHO Global Strategy on Human Resources for Health, Workforce 2030;
  • Establish a large-scale programme globally to develop nurse leaders and nurse leadership;
  • Enable nurses to work to their full potential by developing new ways of sharing good practice;
  • Collect and disseminate evidence of the impact of nursing on access, quality and costs, and ensure it is incorporated in policy and acted upon;
  • Develop nursing to have a triple impact on health, gender equality and economies, by adapting development policy to bring together programmes and funding to simultaneously address Sustainable Development Goals focusing on health, gender equality, and inclusive and sustainable economic growth (numbers 3, 5 and 8)
  • Promote partnership and mutual learning between the UK and other countries.

The WHO welcomes the report and looks forward to collaborating with the UK Government and other partners. It continues to act on its commitment to strengthening nursing and midwifery and the health workforce in general. The recently adopted Global Strategy on Human Resources for Health: Workforce 2030, provided the foundation for the Global strategic directions for strengthening nursing and midwifery 2016–2020. The global strategic directions further provide the framework for strengthening nursing and midwifery development in support of universal health coverage and the Sustainable Development Goals.