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Call for Tories to unveil nursing plans

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A leading nurse academic has called on the Conservatives to set out firm policy on nursing before the election.

The Conservative Party has criticised some of the recommendations made by the Prime Minister’s Commission on the Future of Nursing and Midwifery (news, page 4, 9 March). But it is yet to release the findings of its own nursing consultation, which took place between May and August last year (news, page 1, 12 May).

There are now increasing calls for the party to either accept the recommendations of the PM’s commission, or unveil its own vision for nursing. It follows confusion in recent months over the party’s plans for nursing education and its definition of “nurse” (news, page 1, 9 February).

Lincoln University professor emeritus of healthcare workforce innovation Tony Butterworth, who contributed his views to the consultation, said: “If they’re not going to adopt [the commission’s report], what are they going to do instead?”

However, a party spokesman told Nursing Times this week it had not yet been decided whether the results of the consultation would be published before or after the general election.

Royal College of Nursing head of policy development and implementation said the prime minister’s commission recommendations should “transcend party politics” because they represented a professional consensus on delivering care in the future.

Unison head of nursing Gail Adams, who sat on the commission, said: “It would be a fool who ignores it. I’ll be watching the implementation like a hawk.”

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