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Minister warned over loss of nurse leaders

The NHS is “haemorrhaging” nurse leaders due to government targets on management cuts in the run up to the transition to GP consortia, ministers have been warned.

Leadership from the nursing profession was “essential” in order to help change services and improve clinical outcomes, health minister Anne Milton told nurses last week at a meeting at King’s College London.

But Kate Heaps, chief executive of Greenwich and Bexley Community Hospice, claimed Ms Milton needed to have a “reality check”. She said: “We are haemorrhaging fantastic staff, because of this, as I see it, completely unnecessary reorganisation.”

Janet Davies, Royal College of Nursing executive director of nursing and service delivery, added: “Some of our really good nurse leaders, who will form nursing for the future, are leaving their jobs at the moment – particularly in commissioning.”

But she suggested most would go on to join GP consortia or the private sector after being paid large redundancy packages. She told Ms Milton: “I think you’re wasting a lot of money.”

Nursing Times revealed last month that all 12 primary care trust nursing director posts in the North East had been empty since it was announced that PCTs were to be abolished.

Dame Donna Kinnair, director of commissioning and nursing at NHS Southwark, also told Ms Milton there did not seem to be “room” for nurses to get involved with setting up GP consortia, even though the “best way of delivering care is multi disciplinary teams”.

She said: “There is an exclusion….there are a number of GPs who see it as power, they see it as their domain, and they are not inviting us to the party.” 

Have you signed our petition to ensure nurses have a seat on consortia boards? Follow @Aseatontheboard on twitter follow for all the latest campaign news!

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