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Lansley told to change his verbal support for nurses into action


The government’s language on NHS reforms is now more “inclusive” of nursing, but must be backed up by action to require more involvement from nurses, according to the Royal College of Nursing.

Health secretary Andrew Lansley made a statement to the Commons yesterday in response to increasing political concern about the pace with which the Health and Social Care Bill was moving through parliament.

During the statement – in which he announced a pause in the bill’s introduction – Mr Lansley referred to “doctors and nurses” rather than just “doctors”, appearing to mark a conscious move away from focusing the reforms largely on the role of GPs.

There has been growing pressure from organisations, such as the Royal College of Nursing, for the legislation to recognise the importance of nurses and other health professionals in the new GP led consortia that will take over most spending decisions from primary care trusts.

RCN head of policy development Howard Catton said Mr Lansley’s language when speaking about the reforms was “now inclusive” of nursing.

He told Nursing Times he thought the health secretary recognised that nursing could make an important “contribution at the top table” of commissioning consortia. 

But he said this understanding needed to be backed up by action, with consortia required to have a nurse sitting on the board of every consortia – as called for by Nursing Times in our Seat on the Board campaign.

He said: “His language is now inclusive. He talks nursing very well, but what we now need to see is that translated into a requirement to have nursing seat on the board [of GP consortia].”

Mr Catton highlighted the pause in the introduction of the bill as an opportunity to back up his words with action.

“Nurses will want to see pragmatism ,” he said. “If we don’t, it could create even more difficulties [for the reforms]”

MPs from the influential commons health select committee also called today for the bill to be amended so it was compulsory for GP consortia to include a nurse on their board.

In his statement, Mr Lansley said he wanted to create a service “where the power to deliver is in the hands of local doctors, nurses, health professionals and local communities”.

Have you signed our petition to ensure nurses have a seat on consortia boards? Follow @Aseatontheboard on twitter follow for all the latest campaign news!


Readers' comments (4)

  • Now inclusive? Oh well that's okay then isn't it. This pompous, bombastic moron wouldn't have a clue if he came down to the hospital and saw what really happened day after day.

    Is anyone else really sick and tired of being patronised? I mean, we are 'now included' in the same sentence as the hallowed Doctors, we are getting the token Nurse on the board, etc, when we should be included as equals from the start!! And this is the crux of many of the problems our profession faces isn't it? We are still seen by not only the government and our so called 'leaders', but by many of the general public, as the poor relations, the no skilled handmaidens, the workforce who does all the skivvy work but aren't really important. It is time that changed.

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  • We'll see!
    I may be wrong on this but I remember reading today (now disappeared) that there were no cabinet members on the front bench to hear his latest speech or support it. The front bench was filled with party whips/whipped with a headline to the effect of his increasing isolation in his own party.
    So, no-one agrees with him basically. If we had an election now........

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  • the RCN have nothing to do with this, since the announcements of pay freezes, increment freezes and pension changes i have been furious that the RCN have bent over and took marks that people power has made mr lansley think not the RCN.....while the RCN are patting themsleves on the back for something they havent had as much influence in as they beleieve...unison are pushing it further by making it verbal that industrial action is a possibilility if they mess with pensions and what the guts ripped out the nhs reform...glad i swapped union as i dont feel like im paying into the charity called RCN now!

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  • Anonymous | 5-Apr-2011 10:18 pm, well said I absolutely agree, the pathetic RCN haven't even removed their no strike policy! What a joke.

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