The national news has been dominated by fallout from the result of the European Union referendum.
NHS officials, employers and unions all responded to the news with warnings on how it might affect workforce legislation and overseas staff.
- NHS working hours protections in doubt over ‘Brexit’
- NHS must make EU staff feel ‘valued’, says Keogh
The national result of the European Union referendum also chimed strongly with an exclusive poll of Nursing Times readers carried out in the run-up to the historic vote.
This week Nursing Times also published two important exclusives on nurse training: Cuts to funding for continuing professional development sparked warnings that ongoing training for nurses could be under threat, while concerns were raised that funding for nurses to train in specialist postgraduate roles will no longer be available from next year.
- Exclusive: Nurse training at risk from CPD budget cuts
- Exclusive: Concerns over funding for specialist training
Opposition is mounting to government plans to scrap the nursing and midwifery advisory unit at the Department of Health. An influential MP has quizzed the government on the plans and the Royal College of Nursing’s chief executive has written to the health secretary about them in the wake of concerns from its members.
- Influential MP questions Hunt over DH nursing unit
- Nurses vow to campaign against axing of DH advisory unit
The early part of the week was largely taken over by the Royal College of Nursing’s annual congress in Glasgow. There were standing ovations for keynote speeches by Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon and RCN chief executive Janet Davies.
- Sturgeon attacks ‘wrong-headed’ bursary removal in England
- RCN chief in wide-ranging attack on government policy
In addition, RCN members passed resolutions calling on the union to lobby against public health budget cuts and the removal of student bursaries, questioning the creation of the associate nurse role and calling for legislation on safe staffing levels.
- Warning safe staffing laws needed across UK and more settings
- Nurses call for alternative to ‘appalling’ bursary removal
- Plans for nursing associates risk ‘confusing’ patients
- Public health cuts will have ‘huge’ impact in years to come
Elsewhere it was revealed that patients at Homerton University Hospital Trust had been harmed as a result of nurses not observing or monitoring patients properly at night. In an email to staff, chief nurse Sheila Adams said two serious incidents had occurred.
Meanwhile, a nurse who retired after more than 50 years in the health service did not get a word of thanks from the NHS but her efforts were recognised by her local supermarket, according to her family.