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RCN calls for nurses on GP Consortia

by Polly Moffat
8 February 2011

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The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Chief called on the Government to give greater recognition to nurses within the new health reforms.

RCN chief executive Dr Peter Carter said he would be satisfied if it was mandated that a nurse was on every Consortia board.

He was speaking today at a meeting of the Health Select Committee in Westminster to listen to evidence regarding GP commissioning.

He said that at present it was wholly unclear where the nursing presence and leadership would be.

“We have seen examples within the UK where, in an absence of nurse leadership, you do end up having serious issues with the quality of patient care.

“That’s why we think that it should be written into the statute  to ensure that nurses have adequate representation,” he said.

Mr Carter said that currently the bill leaves nurse involvement up to local choice which could result in missed opportunities and ‘patchwork’ care.

The Committee, chaired by Conservative MP, Stephen Dorrell, was listening to oral evidence from an expert panel that also included Dr Clare Gerada from the RCGP and Mike Sobanja, Chief Executive of NHS Alliance.

The panel were also questioned about their feelings about abolishing GP practice boundaries, accountability of those commissioning services and contingency plans for consortia that find themselves in financial difficulty.