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More control for nurses over patient care

  • 5 Comments

Health secretary Andrew Lansley has pledged to give frontline nurses more control over decisions about patient care.

Yesterday’s white paper Equity and excellence: Liberating the NHS, says the government will adopt a “bottom up” approach to healthcare that puts ownership and decision making “in the hands of professionals and patients”.  

The document, which outlines the most radical reforms to the NHS for more than 10 years, puts the power to commission patient services firmly back in the hands of GPs who will take control of around two-thirds of the NHS budget.

However, the role of the nurse in these reforms is only mentioned twice in the 61-page document.

Royal College of Nursing chief executive and general secretary Peter Carter welcomed the “commitment to include nurses alongside GPs” in making decisions about local health services. But he warned that the reforms “will not be without risk”.

“In economically challenging times there will be some difficult decisions with patients about their care and what is affordable which has the potential to change the relationship patients have with nurses and doctors,” he said.

“In these tough economic times it is more important than ever that public money is spent wisely. A robust system will be essential to ensure those holding the purse strings, as well as managers and politicians, are fully accountable and that every penny is spent with good patient care in mind.”

  • 5 Comments

Readers' comments (5)

  • I think on the whole these proposals are excellent and have the potential to bring the Health Service back off its knees again.

    However there are some very important questions that need to be asked, for example why are Nurses not given a much larger role: ' the role of the nurse in these reforms is only mentioned twice in the 61-page document.'

    Are we not the ones on the frontline as much, if not more so than GP's?

    Saying that, if used correctly, this can be a very positive thing indeed! Thank god we have a government who is finally listening and actually trying to make some positive and radical changes!

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  • The word nurse appears twice in the white paper. Andrew Lansley mentioned nurses once at the end of an interview on Newsnight last night. Where is the nurses voice in this? Wake up Peter Carter this is a quick way to hand terms and conditions over the trusts and bang go pensions and employment rights.

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  • Anonymous | 13-Jul-2010 1:06 pm, this is why Nurses need to get a grip and stand up for ourselves! We need to HAVE a voice in order for it to be heard.

    This is why I am all in favour of industrial action and a new union FOR Nurses, as I have mentioned in previous threads.

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  • Martin Gray

    Soory but I find the title of this article missleading. If nurses are only mentioned twice how on earth does that constitute us having more control over patient care? Are the GPs now going to ask nurses what treatment a patient should have? Sounds more like nurses will be used as the go-betweens for patients and doctors to me; that would mean nurses would end up giving the bad news to patients so the doctors can escape the ensuing confrontations.

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  • For doctors, think 'commanding officers'; for nurses think 'troops'; for the backdrop think World War 1...............then you will be getting the picture.

    No change at all then really.

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