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RCN 'acutely aware' of lessons from Francis report


The Royal College of Nursing has acknowledged it has “lessons to learn” from the way it handled events surrounding the care failings at Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust.

The college was criticised in the Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust public inquiry report, published earlier today.

The report said nursing staff at the trust “did not receive effective support or representation” from the RCN, and that there was an “inherent conflict between the professional representative and trade union functions of the RCN which may diminish the authority of its voice on professional issues”.

In its initial response to the report today, the college said: “The RCN is acutely aware that it has real lessons to learn from how it supported members locally at Mid Staffs.

“Although we have already put in place numerous measures, we will look at the report in depth to see what other steps we can take to improve our effectiveness.”

Responding more generally to the report, RCN chief executive and general secretary Peter Carter said he welcomed the “powerful and monumental report”, which put “patients at the heart of NHS care”.

“Appalling care cannot be tolerated and everything should be done to ensure that it does not happen again,” he said.

He noted that it delivered key recommendations “which we support and have been calling for, including the registration and regulation of health care assistants”.

“The RCN has consistently called for the regulation of health care assistants for the benefit of patients in all care settings including older people’s care. We also welcome a greater call for whistleblowing from staff across the NHS,” he added.


Readers' comments (15)

  • It would probably be of great interest to many NT readers to know what support nurses at Mid Staffs received from Unison. Perhaps someone would like to put this information on record in this 'comments' section - thanks.

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  • I took serious issues to a woman at the RCN, issues where there were clear breach of professional code of practice, A woman called Adele Mackenzie, apparently senior at the RCN, told me to accept a financial settlement and to take the money and go home where I am from. When I declined such an offer, insisting I wanted the professional issues raised investigated, she insisted I took the money and give to my family. The rep representing me used to be an administrator at the RCN, then became a rep after some training. During various conversations with her it was clear she had not bothered to educated herself about basic nursing code of conduct. This is an insult to nursing and to nurses.

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  • The RCN? Great idea in principle.

    I remember speaking to an RCN rep in a disciplinary whom I later saw on lunchtime TV described as 'personal nursing advisor to Tony Blair'. I told her that the likes of her kept bad nurses in nursing and that the good ones became sick of working next to their members and left. The person she was representing was struck off at the UKCC, I was a witness.

    Before sitting down I pointed out two directors from the Trust and stated to everyone in the room that they were guilty of covering up vast amounts of abuse at the hospital and that it was all far worse than anything you will hear about today, and that in my opinion she was a scapegoat.

    The UKCC's reply? Sit down or we will throw you out.

    Pishing in the same pot.

    The first RCN rep I ever met had 30 stark naked patients in the bathroom at the same time, a conveyor belt of human degredation.

    Another RCN rep picked up a patient by his hair and threw him out bare foot into the snow in his pyjamas. He also failed to administer medication to anyone for days at a time then over dosed them, assaulted them etc.

    I informed the head of the northern region branch that I would probably see him in court after I joined the RCN for 6 months. It came to an abrupt end when they represented their 'longer serving' members and refused to let me take someone into a hearing where I was a witness against another RCN member.

    (This could go on for ever).

    And as I have said before, I have met many good people in nursing including ONE RCN rep and ONE Unison rep.

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  • Poor care was raised with the RCN in general 20 years ago (ish) nurses were told nothing could be done as it would upset RCN members.Yes, we accept- need also consider other unions. At the end of the day, they are unions whose role is to protect members when they are accused or involved in dispute. Need an independent union- also for student nurses, many who are afrid to speak out.

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  • see nursingandeducation platform
    google it

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