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Lansley to 'listen' to nurses at RCN congress


Health secretary Andrew Lansley will be the first secretary of state or prime minister in eight years not to give a keynote speech at Royal College of Nursing annual conference next week.

Instead, he is due to attend a seminar at the congress in Liverpool as part of the government’s “listening exercise” on its reform agenda, a Department of Health spokeswoman confirmed.

Health minister and former district nurse Anne Milton will give the keynote speech on behalf of the government.

There was initial speculation in the national media today that Mr Lansley would not be attending the conference at all, drawing accusations that he was “snubbing” the profession.

Last year, both he and prime minister David Cameron addressed congress from the main platform.

Gordon Brown became the first prime minister to address the conference in the RCN’s 93-year history in 2009. Previous Labour health secretary Alan Johnson and Mr Cameron, then leader of the opposition, also gave speeches.

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Readers' comments (4)

  • Was he inivted to give a keynote speech ?

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  • Anonymous | 11-Apr-2011 1:02 pm of course he was, the podium was right underneath the carefully hidden hangmans noose!

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  • Did Andrew Lansley or Anne Milton see Dispatches tonight I wonder? Would they be concerned if they did?
    Personally I'm still reeling from the shock of what I was watching, and yet lack of surprise....Oh yes and utter shame and upset that my profession has come to this.

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  • I can not hide my surprise *cough, cough* that Andrew Lansley does not want to deliver a speech to the RCN. The fact that he wants to meet 60 nurses and "listen" to them is absolute rubbish. There is no way that these nurses will be random but instead will be handpicked to agree with every reform he wants passed.

    Lansley, Man up and face your public. You were voted in by them so listen to them.

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