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Lansley set to brave this year's RCN congress


Health secretary Andrew Lansley is to address the Royal College of Nursing’s annual congress this year, it has been announced.

His speech to the conference may receive a fairly lukewarm response, given the RCN’s opposition to the government’s Health and Social Care Bill, which was passed last month, and the events surrounding the 2011 congress in Liverpool.

Mr Lansley was roundly criticised last year for “lacking the guts” to face the full conference. Instead he opted to meet a group of 50 nurses as part of the government’s “pause” and listening exercise on its NHS reforms. It had initially been rumoured that he would not attend at all.

Health minister Anne Milton gave the government address. But she sparked a vote of “no confidence” in the government’s management of the reforms when she suggested Agenda for Change pay increments could be frozen locally in return for job security, despite a national deal proposing similar terms already having been rejected by unions.

Mr Lansley will address this year’s congress in Harrogate on 14 May.

Other keynote speakers will include Labour leader Ed Miliband and Sir Keith Pearson, chair of the NHS Confederation and co-chair of the Commission on Dignity in Care, which published a report earlier this year.

RCN chief executive and general secretary Peter Carter said he was “delighted” Mr Lansley and the other keynote speakers would be addressing the conference.

“The NHS is currently going through a huge series of challenges and we look forward to hearing their perspectives on nursing and the reform agenda,” he said.

Delegates are also set to debate a range of issues, including the effects of shift working on staff and patients, and financial incentives to be healthy.


Readers' comments (45)

  • tinkerbell

    The NHS is currently going through a huge series of challenges and we look forward to hearing their perspectives on nursing and the reform agenda,” he said

    Unbelievable. Yeah find out what we all think when it's a done deal. Hope anyone who attends has some rotten tomatoes.

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  • Couldn't agree more Tink. Is there a Knighthood in the post for poor Peter? L He doesn't deserve one for his services to Nursing,as he has asked for little and less was granted, but for the 'Order of the Brown Nose'. It'll help him get free upgrades on British Airways, whilst the rest of us will have to do with our 'free' Virgin Health rhinoplastys.
    Slow handclaps all round, please, and a swift one in the goolies for Ed Miliband for stabbing his brother, and the rest of us (especially poor old Tony Benn), in the back. Derek Hatton is more electable than that muppet.
    It's time that the RCN stood up and shouted NO MORE instead of whispering 'please don't do that', so as Tink said, throw the rotten tomatoes, rattle your pearls and tell your RCN rep to give them hell!

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  • I would like to think that it would be necessary to search all RCN attendees for pointy, throwy, missiley-type implements prior to their admission to conference on the day of Lansley's appearance.

    However, this is the RCN. He will be treated to tea and cakes and a polite reception. I suspect that the greatest demonstration of dissent might manifest itself in a small outbreak of 'bums shifting uncomfortably in chairs' and perhaps some 'minor muttering'. This is the RCN after all. Safe territory for the likes of Lansey. Let's see him stand in front of the TUC annual bash.

    Of course, I would love to be wrong.....but I know I'm not.

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  • tinkerbell

    how disappointing. So there's not going to be a huge bun fight at this RCN thingy? Oh well we can dream can't we?

    Even though lansley is a pig, and that's an insult to pigs, he can dress up as nicely as he likes in his fine feathers for the day, put lipstick on a pig, you've still got a pig.

    I guess the internet snoopy police will soon be a knocking at my door for being some kind of outspoken person and a woman at that. How very dare you? Down with this sort of thing.

    Apparently it is not my human right to wear a crucifix, (some EU Directive that i am not obliged to wear one as part of my faith) but i can still wear a turban, a skull cap, burka and a half beard. I will wear my skull cap atop my turban covered by my burka with a fake half beard. When asked what religion i am i will tell them i'm reviewing the situation but mostly christian, jewish muslim with leanings towards being a jedi knight and buddhism and see if they can find a code for that one on the form that asks 'what religion are you?', although this may hinder my chances of seeing a doctor in a timely manner and cause the computer to shut down.

    Does this mean the pope will soon be taken to taskfor wearing a crucifix whilst shouting 'I am infallible'.What about all the biships and other members of the chess set?

    Obviously there are more questions than answers. I am just asking.

    I embrace you all as fellow human beings regardless of any denomination and hope that together we can strive towards finding more in common than our differences.

    Happy Easter one and all.

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  • if all these biships and pops, etc. are allowed to wear their crosses and burkas or whatever to work why aren't those working in the NHS, BA and other british establishments.
    don't tell this to any of our fellow continentals as they already think we are totally eccentric and not really much worth bothering about although many still think we are quite polite and some of us even friendly and of course we have London on our little island and good pop songs. the only problem with visiting for more than a package weekend is that you don't get fed properly as the food is so dire and its expensive and you really wouldn't want to fall ill and visit one of those third world hospitals with 30 beds on ward and where even though care is free it would be better to get repatriated asap. being an au pair is there is also not a good choice as you tend to get overworked, badly fed, little pocket money and virtually no time off.

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  • Tiger Girl

    Address yes - listen, I doubt !

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  • "His speech to the conference may receive a fairly lukewarm response,..."

    if he gets a lukewarm response from the audience he should consider himself very lucky!

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  • Of course Lansley is coming to conference. Last time he made an error of judgement and stayed away from those powerful nurses.

    Following the appalling turnout at the ballot, Lansley knows that he can do what he wants with the nursing profession: lambs to the slaughter. I am utterly ashamed at the way we rolled over-we could have stopped Lansley and his ideological distruction of the NHS as we know it.

    He is coming to gloat - to remind you who is boss, a smiling assassin with the mantra of 'the NHS is safe with us', 'no top-down reorganisation'. And there is nothing we can now do about it.

    As for Peter Carter, he received a lot of flak on here, from me included, but not even he could have predicted how apathetic we as a profession are.

    So, if you go to listen to Lansley i hope you make such a racket that he can't pedal his patronising message - I would rather see that on the news rather than Lansley explaining to those silly nurses who just don't understand what he is trying to do.

    And that is tearing the NHS apart, making you work much longer, pay more, and receive much much less.

    And we could't be bothered to say NO.

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  • Andrew Fishburn | 6-Apr-2012 2:27 pm

    Bout sums up his motivation I guess. Just wants to gloat, have a look at his alleged opposition, which amounts to diddly- squat, put us back in our box and walk off with a smirk on his face.

    Report back to Cameron 'it's in the bag. Load of girls!'

    Big guffaws and slaps on the back all round.

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  • at the rcn congress, how about listening to what Mr. Lansley has to say first before judging him?

    what even happened to the advanced communication and listening skills nurses are supposed to be trained in and their high levels of social intelligence which presumably led them into their chosen profession?

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