Nurses are being urged to petition health secretary Andrew Lansley to ensure the vital skills and expertise of the profession are not overlooked under plans for commissioning healthcare.
The Nursing Times campaign, A Seat on the Board, aims to ensure nurses are involved at the highest level of the new GP commissioning consortia.
The consortia will be handed the bulk of decision making on NHS spending in April 2013 and are set to be dominated by GPs.
To kick off the campaign, Nursing Times has set up an online petition calling for Mr Lansley to advise future consortia to include a nursing representative on their board or top leadership tier.
Readers can sign up to the campaign statement: “Nurses must be actively involved in the new commissioning consortia being set up from now until April 2013, and their involvement must be at the highest level.
“Nurses don’t just deserve to be on the board because of their number, but because of their unique experience in the NHS. They have a different focus from GPs, with a strong emphasis on patient care and quality of patient experience, and are the only professionals who deliver holistic patient care.”
NHS Derbyshire County director of nursing and quality Maggie Boyd said the A Seat on the Board campaign offered nurses a “great opportunity to show their worth”.
She said: “If we fail to take this opportunity, the profession’s added value and a chance to retain the learning from primary care trust models will be lost. Good quality patient care remains central to decision making, whether that is at an individual patient care level or across the population.”