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EDITOR’S COMMENT

‘Nursing feels neglected, under-represented and without a voice’

  • 16 Comments

I felt a little bit in shock at the end of Jeremy Hunt’s speech to the Conservative Party Conference last week.

It’s a big year for nursing – you may have noticed. Well, you and every other nurse may have noticed, but Mr Hunt certainly hasn’t.

I felt sure he was going to mention the severe nursing workforce crisis. After all, it’s his government that is removing the bursary and pressing for the introduction of the nursing associate role in order to try to alleviate it.

I was confident that he’d talk about the hard decision to remove the bursary, but explain his conviction that it would increase nursing numbers to at least instill some confidence from those who are worried about it.

”I felt sure he was going to mention the severe nursing workforce crisis”

I felt certain he would stake his claim that the introduction of the nursing associate role would increase the numbers of people able to provide care so desperately needed.

At the very least, he had to mention the service’s dependency on overseas nurses and pledge a commitment to them post-Brexit?

But instead he focused on the doctors, announcing that he would increase annual medical training numbers by around £100m.

“Instead he focused on the doctors, announcing that he would increase annual medical training numbers”

Now I can understand why after a bitter battle with the junior doctors and the British Medical Association, he wanted to do something crowd-pleasing for the medics. And I also won’t deny that of course we need doctors.

But don’t we need nurses more desperately? The vacancies in nursing are far higher than those in the medical profession, and with the funding pot for post-registration training under threat, as well as the bursary, the situation is likely to be even more acutely felt.

”The health secretary’s complete ignorance of the dire situation in nursing will only compound problems”

Nursing directors are struggling to fill posts and are finding it a challenge to retain a demoralised and demotivated nursing workforce. The health secretary’s complete ignorance of the dire situation in nursing will only compound their problems.

Nursing feels neglected, under-represented and without a voice. In a year when the profession has come under the biggest attacks, which will change it forever, Mr Hunt felt nursing warranted nothing but platitudes in his speech. It is a disgrace.

 

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  • 16 Comments

Readers' comments (16)

  • michael stone

    I could be wrong - but so far as I can see, doctors get much more political attention than nurses, because doctors are seen as being more outspoken, powerful and troublesome if 'upset' than are nurses. Or the same point, restated in terms of Medicine and Nursing.

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  • hunt clearly feels nurses are of no value

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  • michael stone

    'ANONYMOUS 11 OCTOBER, 2016 4:03 PM

    hunt clearly feels nurses are of no value'

    If he does, then he is wrong.

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  • michael stone

    Just realised how 'dangerously unclear' my previous comment might be, on this website. To be clear:

    If he feels nurses are of no value, then he is wrong.

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  • I feel that nurses work very hard. We do not go to work to get on with every colleague it is impossible. We work for what's best for the patient. Nobody is making us do that and if we don't want to do the job, we should find alternative work. RN.

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  • Perhaps the RCN should have another ballot of members regarding no strike policy. Consecutive governments have manipulated docile nursing unions. If nurses had held a series of one day strikes the response would have been different

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  • Why aren't RCN doing anything about this? Most of the time there are more talks but no action and it is very frustrating. Why the top leaders in the health department not saying anything? Are they waiting for the doom of the nursing profession. There will a day when there will more patients and no nurses if this ignorance of the shortage of nursing staff goes on and on. Why is it so difficult for the politicians to see the reality of the nursing workforce? More jobs being cut and slashed no promotions and much more as nurses are being devalued gradually. Up and behold i hope someone comes up to save the nurses and only time will tell.

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  • Tracy Martin

    https://www.acn.edu.au/sites/default/files/advocacy/20160930_nurses_are_essential_to_health_and_aged_care_reform_white_paper_web.pdf

    The ACN recently met with the Australian Prime Minister who launched the ACN's white paper - see link above. All sides of government were present and each member spoke passionately about the vital role that nurses are playing and can play in the future in Australia's health care system which is facing the same workforce shortages as many other countries.

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  • On my way to Australia; where nurses are valued, appreciated and the weather not so depressing and spacious so that my kids can wonder freely.
    Jeremy hunt will soon regret it!
    Bomb waiting to explored in the NHS...watch the space

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  • On my way to Australia; where nurses are valued, appreciated and the weather not so depressing and the land so spacious so that my kids can wonder freely.
    Jeremy hunt will soon regret it!
    Bomb waiting to explode💣💣💣 in the NHS...watch the space

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