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Overseas RCN cash debated

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Members of the Royal College of Nursing are to be asked whether it should reduce or even stop funding its international work, in light of financial pressures in the UK.

This is one of the 26 resolutions and issues due to be debated at RCN Congress in April.

The debate, proposed by the Lothian branch, asks “if the RCN can continue funding its international work given the domestic economic situation”.

RCN board member for Lothian Geoff Earl told Nursing Times that he hoped all the RCN’s international work would be debated, as it went beyond helping nurses in developing countries.

For example, he said, the RCN’s substantial financial contribution to the International Council of Nurses should be looked at, as should spending on interpreting European Union legislation.

He said: “The RCN can be guilty of being conservative, with a small c, and we hope to shake things up a bit and ask how best the RCN can spend its money.

“Some people will say we should not spend any money internationally, and I have had emails from members saying just that.”

Congress will also debate whether psychological and physical “MOTs” should be introduced to reduce the increasing number of nurses being reviewed under sickness and absence policies.

Tony Durcan, RCN officer for Cambridgeshire, said routine assessments might identify nurses who were struggling before matters reached the review stage.

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