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RCN excluded from prime minister's NHS reform summit


The Royal College of Nursing has been excluded from a summit called by the prime minister to discuss NHS reform.

David Cameron is to meet a number of health and social care organisations today to discuss “implementation of the NHS reforms”. Those invited include The Royal College of Physicians, Royal College of Surgeons, and the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges.

However the RCN and the Royal College of GPs are notable exceptions. It also appears that the British Medical Association has not been invited.

The prime minister’s plan to hold the event was revealed on Friday by Nursing Times’ sister title Health Service Journal.

RCN chief executive and general secretary Peter Carter confirmed in a statement on Sunday that the RCN had not been invited. Other unions including Unison have also not been invited.

Mr Carter said: “It is difficult to understand how the government believes it can hold a productive meeting on the NHS reforms without representation from the single biggest workforce in the NHS.

“They have continually pledged throughout this process to put clinicians in the driving seat, yet this decision would suggest an unwillingness to engage with the views of nurses.

“Nurses know how to improve care and it is vital for patients that they are listened to. The RCN has said that we will continue to raise the genuinely held concerns of our members with the government, however our overall view remains that the bill as a whole risks damaging the NHS which our members work hard to build and support.”

Health minister Simon Burns, speaking to the BBC today, said Mr Cameron had spoken to Mr Carter on the phone last month. Mr Burns said: “On this occasion we are meeting those organisations who are constructively engaged in implementing the modernisation.”


Readers' comments (73)

  • Absolutely typical of this westminster government!

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  • Nurses holds the hospital together not the doctors. How many times have we heard from surgeons after surgery that the recovery is in the hands of the nurses which is the major thing?

    How does Cameron intend to run the NHS without the nurses? because if RCN is excluded then the voice of nurses and nurses are excluded so to say.

    With the way things are going, maybe the next thing they will be telling us now is that there is no need for nurses. At least Camden NHS Trust is already talking about assistant practitioners doing the work of nurses.

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  • Where is the democracy, where is the honesty and integrity??????

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  • typical governmental tripe thinks he can get his bill passed this way. if he only invites those that he knows will support him. some of his own team are not happy.

    nurses are the ones that see the patients 24/7 365 days of the year, nurses are the angles and the glue that keeps the nhs going, bad enough that he has played around with our pensions now this.

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  • For all the years we have tried to raise our professional status in our own right,instead of being viewed as " the doctors handmaidens" all the degrees nurses have,nurse consultants etc,it hasnt made a tot of difference as far as government are concerned.
    Quite simply because nurses DO NOT implement any strategic changes in the NHS in their own right,we just carry out the clinical governance etc as we are told to do by the managers,until we do these things in our own right and be the lead in this,not Doctors or managers then it will never be any different

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  • I wonder why every one is so surprised, what did you expect from a Prime Minister who is passionate about privatising the NHS, remember, it was the last Conservative Government that introduced PFI and New Labour who carried on with the project, the casualisaton of nursing is just the next logical step in the PFI scheme, as Lisa Oluyinka quite rightly recognised HCAs will eventually take on the bulk of nursing duties with perhaps one RGN on each shift to do the meds and carry the can when things inevitably go wrong.

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  • We all keep the NHS together. For Simon Burns to say that they are only working with the organisations that are constructively implementing the modernisation is so silly as they have not included the GP's. I thought a great chunk of the modernisation is crucial to the implementation as it revolves around them. We know that there is great worry from a lot of GP's about this and to be worried is not being destructive rather than constructive. I sincerely hope that the RCM, RCS and the Royal colleges will give the Government a run for their money. A lot of the hospital surgeons and medics may lose out with the modernisation or is it that they will be offered a huge increase in private practice??? More like it. All being done behind closed doors - interesting. It is so sad that this Government is determined to privatise by stealth. Did you all know that about 50% of GP's practices are private already ( I think that is the correct amount)? A lot of walk in centres are private too.

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  • Join the 'going to work' march on line on march 7th if you can't attend in person

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  • Stunningly arrogant of the government to exclude the people who are at the forefront of healthcare in the NHS. Mr Burns said that only those that are"constructively involved in implementing the reforms are invited at this point, so he obviously sees the rest of us as not constructive therefore not wanted.

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  • michael stone

    Peter Carter was on Radio 4 just after 8am this morning re this meeting, and for once he was 100% spot-on and quite forthright.

    And, as the previous poster pointed out, the Goverment are no longer even dennying that most hcps don't like the Bill - their 'front men' have been reduced to 'the BMA didn't want the NHS to be formed' and similar drivel !

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