The spending review has pretty much kept the national newspapers and every web editor in copy for the next few days or weeks at least, but the really big bit of news for the profession is about nurses having to work until they are 66.
It’s caused quite a furore on our pages, as you can see from some of the comments on our news story on this subject.
And politics was on the agenda at the Nursing Workforce Forum conference in London on Tuesday.
Anne Milton, parliamentary under secretary for the Department of Health, kicked off the day by telling delegates that she didn’t know quite how she had gone from one of the most respected careers as a nurse, to becoming a politician, and having one of the most vilified.
I have some sympathy for that view, as I think journalists are regarded by some parts of society as only just below tax inspectors and traffic wardens.
But the MP did quite a lot to win over some fans from nurses in the room, who seemed genuinely pleased to have her listen to their views on nursing and the ideas that some of them had implemented.
And Anne, for her part, was actively encouraging delegates to share their best practice with each other and with her private secretary. “There’s been somewhat of a gap between politician and practitioner,” she said. “And we need to close that gap.”
As part of the day, chair Stephen Welfare from NHS East of England, asked us all to write down ideas for Anne to implement or think about introducing, and those are winging their way to Whitehall as I type, but if you have any more – then please do shout about them on here for us to send on, or send them to Anne at her private office. It’s a real opportunity to have a former nurse in such a role, and I hope that in this profession we can use that to our advantage. On my blog, there have been several posts about engaging with Whitehall, and Anne certainly opened the door for us to do that, and I intend to keep it more than a little ajar.