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Nurses unaware of Darzi’s report…

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Junior health minister Lord Darzi has admitted to ‘concerns’ that not all staff in the NHS are aware of the major review he is carrying out on behalf of the Department of Health.

Speaking last week at an RCN conference convened to engage nurses in the review, Lord Darzi said he was concerned the NHS at grassroots level was not fully engaged in the process.

‘There will be nine reports from each strategic health authority region that feed into the national review, these are owned locally,’ he said. ‘I have emphasised to those leading this that they need to be more granular at local level – I have concerns that not every nurse, doctor and porter is aware of the next stage review.’

Concerns have been raised that nurses’ views have not been heard in the consultation phase of the process. Only six nurses are chairing regional clinical review groups out of a total of 90 – 67 are chaired by doctors.

A DH spokesperson also confirmed that of the 2,000 NHS staff involved in broader national review working groups just 300 are nurses.

‘Nurses, like all other NHS staff, have been consulted on the review,’ she added. ‘The RCN and the NMC are represented on the stakeholder communications group.’

Lord Darzi told the conference his final report or ‘enabling review’, setting out his vision for the NHS over the next decade, would be published in July.

He added that NHS leaders needed to be engaged at a local level for change to occur over the next decade.

‘We need clinicians very much engaged in the service they provide, this is probably the most powerful change agent there will be,’ he said.

Delegates were also told that it was important that workforce competencies were shifted from acute to primary care in
the short term.

‘We need to shift competencies out into the community to enable fairly complex chronic conditions to be treated there,’ said Lord Darzi.

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