Government reforms will “struggle to succeed” without more engagement with nurses, the Royal College of Nursing has warned.
The Department of Health published its response – titled Liberating the NHS: Legislative Framework and Next Steps – to the white paper consultation today.
Responding to the document, RCN chief executive and general secretary Peter Carter said: “We welcome the government giving more attention to the process as the NHS goes through this huge transition, in particular the intention to pilot consortia reforms.
“However, we are extremely disappointed that there is no explicit commitment that nursing expertise will be harnessed at all levels of the commissioning process and on the NHS Commissioning Board,” Dr Carter said.
“There is a real risk that services will become fragmented as consortia groups could become reluctant to collaborate and share good practice. The government has said that consortia only need to ‘have appropriate advice from professionals with expertise in health’.”
Dr Carter added: “However, we believe the reforms will struggle to meet future challenges without the full involvement of nurses.”
Earlier this month Nursing Times launched its “Seat on the Board” campaign, calling for all GP commissioning consortia to have a nurse as part of their senior governance structure.