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College adviser cuts set to be raised at congress

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An emergency resolution may be tabled at this year’s RCN congress over the axing of college nursing adviser posts.

RCN forum chairpersons are considering making a resolution over redundancies made within the organisation’s professional nursing department (PND).

A meeting is planned ahead of congress, which takes place later this month, to discuss the department’s restructuring, which some fear will damage the quality of advice available to the college’s 390,000 members.

Alison Twycross, RCN general children’s nursing forum chairperson, said: ‘The forum chairs will meet informally ahead of congress and, yes, an emergency resolution is a possibility.’

NT understands that as many as 10 key professional advisers – who liaise between the college on council policy and the forums within their field of expertise – have been made redundant and are negotiating over their final day of employment.

The new PND structure will be formally announced this week to advisers who are being retained.

The changes are believed to be part of plans to help resolve the college’s financial difficulties, which had included a £42m pension scheme deficit.

‘The new structure is simplified but the jury is out on the effect on the support that forums and members are going to get. The forums are worried they will not have the expertise they had in the past,’ Ms Twycross said.

‘I understand that [remaining] advisers will be grouped together into units, which may contain two or three advisers and some administration and organiser support,’ she added.

Ms Twycross said she had been told that the number of forums was also being reduced.

Lynn Young, RCN primary care adviser, who has been told her role is secure, said: ‘Some advisers may have only done one day a week but to me it is more about the expertise we will no longer have. It is the experience within the PND that is being diminished – fact.’

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