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UKIP moots return of enrolled nurse and end to graduate training

  • 56 Comments

The UK Independence Party would reintroduce state enrolled nurses to encourage more “home grown talent” in nursing, as part of a package of election pledges on the NHS.

It set out a range of policies affecting nursing, including measures to increase staff numbers, support the development of healthcare assistants and reverse the move to a degree-only entry profession.

“There is a desperate need to bring care and compassion back to the heart of nursing”

Louise Bours

UKIP’s health spokeswoman Louise Bours launched the party’s health policy yesterday. In a speech made during a visit to Rochester in Kent, she stated: “To achieve the highest possible quality of care we must have the right policies for nursing.”

“Although the NHS is the biggest employer in the UK, it does not have enough nurses,” she said. “UKIP would redress the imbalance of their being too many managers, not enough frontline staff.”

To help achieve its workforce aim, it would “simplify procedures” for former nurses to return to practice and bring back the title of state enrolled nurse to enable more HCAs to become registered.  

“[Enrolled nurse] training will take place on the wards, utilizing the current pool of auxiliary staff allowing them to work toward becoming a state registered nurse,” she said.

Assistant nurses, later known as the state enrolled nurses, appeared in 1943 but were phased out during the early 1990s after the restructuring of nurse education under Project 2000. Enrolled nurses were recorded by the former General Nursing Councils but did not have to undergo full registration.

More generally, Ms Bours claimed nurse training “should take place on the ward, not in a university lecture theatre”.

UK Independence Party

UKIP health spokesperson Louise Bours

“There is a desperate need to bring care and compassion back to the heart of nursing, to end the ‘too posh to wash’ attitude of some graduates and make sure patients never again die on our wards because their basic needs to be fed, given something to drink, and to be kept warm and comfortable are not being met,” she said.

In addition, she said that under UKIP control nurse managers would be “responsible for ward cleanliness, the efficient operation of their wards, and oversight of nurse training on their wards”.

It would also insist that overseas health professionals in the NHS “must hold appropriate qualifications and speak and write English to a level that is acceptable to the profession”.

Overall, Ms Bours pledged to “put quality of care back to the top of the agenda” for the NHS.

For example, she highlighted that UKIP expected home care agencies to pay the minimum wage to their staff, and to pay them on duty or in training.

“There is no excuse for a big care company to hire anyone on a zero-hours contract, or to not pay them when they are travelling between appointments, or ‘on call’,” she said.

“Although the NHS is the biggest employer in the UK, it does not have enough nurses”

Louise Bours

The party also said it would scrap hospital parking charges in England and make up the £200m financial shortfall from “tackling health tourism” by overseas nationals using UK health services.

In addition, it said it would require NHS managers to be licensed by law, in the same way that nurses and doctors are registered with professional regulators.

This would “negate the drift of disgraced hospital managers being fired only to find another job elsewhere within the health service”, it said.

It said it also would “abolish” inspections by the Care Quality Commission and pass this responsibility to “local health boards”, which would be “encouraged to take evidence from whistleblowers and patients with grievances”.

Overall, the party pledged to keep the NHS free at the point of delivery and said it would invest £3bn more into providing frontline services – the money coming, it said, from leaving the European Union.

“This money will provide 20,000 new nurses, 3,000 midwives and 8,000 GPs,” said Ms Bours.

It would also provide £130m per year specifically for dementia care, which would total £650m over the entire parliament. It claimed this was double what the Tories had pledged and was in line with what Alzheimer’s Research UK said was needed.

Meanwhile, it said merging health and social care was a “priority” in order to enable more joined-up, integrated patient management.

  • 56 Comments

Readers' comments (56)

  • Anonymous | 6-Mar-2015 7:55 pm

    michael stone | 6-Mar-2015 1:12 pm


    you refer only to own comment that is!

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  • Surely she means managers would be responsible for the overseeing of ward training .An oversight is what has caused the problems in the first place .!

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  • I agree that Nigel Farage is a real danger shooting form the hip on a topic they clearly do not understand and where on earth has Louise Bours come from? After 20 + years of nursing I am fed up with our profession being used an arena for politicians to score points from, using inaccurate information that misinforms the public and hints at unprofessional governance.

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  • This proposal just illustrates the poor image many people have of nurses, and if implemented will only serve to drive down the status, job prospects and pay of nurses. I am ashamed of being a nurse in this country, I feel I would have greater status doing almost any menial job. Compassion is all very well, but it does not heal people. You need well trained, experienced, technically competent nursing staff. Mr Farage, this isn't a part-time low paid job that anyone can just dip in to. You are an insult!

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  • This issue has nothing yo do with ukip and everything to do with the profession at large. It demonstrates what we have failed to do as a profession which is to point out that what we do is a scientific job. By constantly anchoring ourselves to some sort of social aspect we have never said that what we do in principle is governed by science, lead by science and is dependent on science. Nurses do a scientific job, just the same as every other profession in the healthcare profession. By pretending that relationships and the undefinable aspect of 'caring' is what mandates our role we allow a wide spectrum of well meaning but fundamentally ignorant people, outdated but interested dinosaurs and involved but uninformed bystanders to weigh in and force their opinions on to us.

    The undeniable truth is that Nursing is a science. The outcome overall of patient recovery and indeed care is totally independent on how you are perceived, how you act and how patients act.
    The application of healthcare delivery is simple and finite. It is the provision of nursing and it stands wholly apart from what relations you have. One might make the experience 'feel' better with a bright and sunny persona but that is not WHY patients recover.
    People ought to always be nice, friendly and courteous, but that is as dependent on environmental factors as drug delivery is on having the time and resources to do so.

    Instead we have constantly played the stereotype and all of us are trapped within this pointless wasteful paradigm. We can see in other countries that the profession has made enormous strides, simply because they do not have the delusion that their country invented nursing thus being free from the need to constantly play up a xanadu yesteryear that truly was the dearth of decent culture and a servile mentality.

    Enrolled nurses, much like nurses were removed because they were a hideous spectre. An anachronism that haunted our society. Instead of resisting their renewal, apparently we welcome their return. A shameless call for authority where none was needed. Matrons kept order through fear and bullying. Those with rose tinted glasses fail to understand that they existed purely because they were women thought to require an all powerful warden. Matrons did not raise standards, they established them and then preserved them in aspic, allowing the feminist movement to be utterly wasted between the 1960's and 1980's. In the USA nursing definitively took off whilst in the UK hats and graduation trinkets remained the peasants reward.

    The other issue ukip and all others forget is that few actually want to do nursing. Despite high enrollment, nursing has among the worst drop out rates anywhere. Not because of the intensity but because courses fail to meet expectations. With my cohort few could tolerate the vast amount of unusable theory and wishy washy pseudoscience paraded as researched and evidence based. Its lack of practical application and hypocrisy was plain to see. Students arrive expecting to learn about the body and instead fall asleep in lectures that do not meet the intellectual requirements necessary to take part in the delivery of health care. They will have to suffer being excluded from conversations everyone else is having. They will not learn why a drug works, how an operation occurs, how anaesthetics reverse, why pain is their purview,, how to assess an abdomen. These are our things. Instead they will sit and listen to lectures on dementia with the lecture programmed to invest them as the person with the power to influence what has eluded science and psychology, and the saddling of changing peoples behaviour with the impression that they are the sole provider of life changing influence.

    But Nursing is a science. Nothing more and is was never anything else. The rest is garbage

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • This issue has nothing yo do with ukip and everything to do with the profession at large. It demonstrates what we have failed to do as a profession which is to point out that what we do is a scientific job. By constantly anchoring ourselves to some sort of social aspect we have never said that what we do in principle is governed by science, lead by science and is dependent on science. Nurses do a scientific job, just the same as every other profession in the healthcare profession. By pretending that relationships and the undefinable aspect of 'caring' is what mandates our role we allow a wide spectrum of well meaning but fundamentally ignorant people, outdated but interested dinosaurs and involved but uninformed bystanders to weigh in and force their opinions on to us.

    The undeniable truth is that Nursing is a science. The outcome overall of patient recovery and indeed care is totally independent on how you are perceived, how you act and how patients act.
    The application of healthcare delivery is simple and finite. It is the provision of nursing and it stands wholly apart from what relations you have. One might make the experience 'feel' better with a bright and sunny persona but that is not WHY patients recover.
    People ought to always be nice, friendly and courteous, but that is as dependent on environmental factors as drug delivery is on having the time and resources to do so.

    Instead we have constantly played the stereotype and all of us are trapped within this pointless wasteful paradigm. We can see in other countries that the profession has made enormous strides, simply because they do not have the delusion that their country invented nursing thus being free from the need to constantly play up a xanadu yesteryear that truly was the dearth of decent culture and a servile mentality.

    Enrolled nurses, much like nurses were removed because they were a hideous spectre. An anachronism that haunted our society. Instead of resisting their renewal, apparently we welcome their return. A shameless call for authority where none was needed. Matrons kept order through fear and bullying. Those with rose tinted glasses fail to understand that they existed purely because they were women thought to require an all powerful warden. Matrons did not raise standards, they established them and then preserved them in aspic, allowing the feminist movement to be utterly wasted between the 1960's and 1980's. In the USA nursing definitively took off whilst in the UK hats and graduation trinkets remained the peasants reward.

    The other issue ukip and all others forget is that few actually want to do nursing. Despite high enrollment, nursing has among the worst drop out rates anywhere. Not because of the intensity but because courses fail to meet expectations. With my cohort few could tolerate the vast amount of unusable theory and wishy washy pseudoscience paraded as researched and evidence based. Its lack of practical application and hypocrisy was plain to see. Students arrive expecting to learn about the body and instead fall asleep in lectures that do not meet the intellectual requirements necessary to take part in the delivery of health care. They will have to suffer being excluded from conversations everyone else is having. They will not learn why a drug works, how an operation occurs, how anaesthetics reverse, why pain is their purview,, how to assess an abdomen. These are our things. Instead they will sit and listen to lectures on dementia with the lecture programmed to invest them as the person with the power to influence what has eluded science and psychology, and the saddling of changing peoples behaviour with the impression that they are the sole provider of life changing influence.

    But Nursing is a science. Nothing more and is was never anything else. The rest is garbage

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

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