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College claims advisory services will not be lost

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The RCN has outlined the new structure of its professional nursing department (PND), claiming the quality of its advisory services for members will not be lost.

Under the plans, there will no longer be a specific adviser for infection control, practice education, sexual health or nurse prescribing.

Members seeking advice on these issues will be directed to another adviser, whose remit would encompass providing that information.

Four redundancies have been made and three contracts have not been renewed as a result of the restructuring.

Advisory services for informatics, the independent sector and ethics will move to other RCN departments and their respective advisers will move or take redundancy.

There will be new advisers for healthcare support workers and senior nurse managers.

Concerns had been raised that the new structure would erode the quality of advice available from the PND (NT News, 15 April, p2).

But, following a meeting to discuss the restructuring with forum chairpersons, acting head of PND Steve Jamieson promised the new structure would provide a more flexible way of working, linking the department more closely to the college’s clinical priorities.

‘We realised a lot of the work we were doing did not register the work being done within the organisation,’ he said. ‘It’s not about our members losing specialist advice – that will not happen – it is just that advice will be given in different ways and not necessarily by a named person.’

The college said the total saving made by the restructuring was confidential but £150,000 of savings would be made available to pay for freelance advisers to work on specific projects if the knowledge was no longer available within the PND.

Forum chairpersons are set to take a final decision the day before RCN congress next week on whether to table an emergency resolution over the new-look PND.

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