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Trusts must publish risk assessments for service redesigns

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Royal College of Nursing members at congress have backed a call for NHS service providers to be made to publish risk assessments of planned “service redesigns” ahead of any changes.

A motion, proposed by the RCN’s northern board at its annual congress in Liverpool yesterday, was backed by an overwhelming majority – with 93% in favour and just 6% against.

The motion called for the college’s council to lobby the Department of Health to “mandate NHS service providers to publish all risk assessments and patient quality impact assessments in advance of any service redesign”.

RCN northern board chair Cate Wooley-Brown said: “All too many organisations now hide behind the veil that it is commercially sensitive to release this information.

She said: “Let’s be honest, how are we as clinical professionals supposed to make an informed decision on whether to support or reject a redesigned service if we don’t know what the risks are, and what the potential impact on patients is going to be.”

Delegates also backed a motion opposing “the pay cuts that are being imposed on the NHS workforce without consultation or due diligence to the current ‘equal pay for equal value’ pay system”, and one calling on the RCN council to “investigate and promote ways to reduce the cost of prescribed medication and unnecessary wastage”.

The motions were passed respectively by votes of 96.3% for to 3.7% against, and 99.8% for to 0.2% against.

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