RNs - England

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'Specialist NHS nurses suffering'

Press Association, September 27, 2006 Specialist nurses are seeing their jobs downgraded or axed due to the financial crisis in the NHS, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has said. Along with the charity Bowel Cancer UK, the RCN surveyed 460 nurses working in gastroenterology and stoma (intestinal) care on how NHS debts were affecting their jobs. Almost half (47%) said they had experienced either their own post or that of another specialist nurse in their area being made redundant, downgraded or frozen while vacant. Over a third (41%) said they were worried about their future, with 124 nurses saying their employment was not very secure, and another 59 saying their work was not secure at all. ... Specialist

Nursing redundancies increase pressure on GPs

Bucks Free Press, September 26, 2006 NHS bosses have been sent back to the drawing board over plans to make £2.5 million staff cuts in Bucks. The county's Overview and Scrutiny Committee for Public Health has raised serious concerns over the cuts, which includes the removal of around 50 district and community nurses. The nurses' duties include visiting the sick at home, many too ill to get out of bed. A staff consultation on the redundancies has just finished but the committee has demanded a public consultation on the matter amid claims of a lack of openness. ... Nursing

Nurse ratios affect safety

The Times, September 26, 2006 How many nurses does it take to run a ward safely? And no, this isn’t one of those change-a-lightbulb jokes, but a serious question, the answer to which has proved elusive. Not any more. For the first time, the Royal College of Nursing has come up with a safe ratio for registered and unregistered staff on general hospital wards. The magic formula is 65 per cent qualified nurses to 35 per cent healthcare assistants. The RCN says that the ratio can be adjusted, but only after a through review and only in accordance with 13 principles which it recommends that ward managers follow. ... Nurse

Report Sets Out Skill Mix Needs

StaffNurse.com, September 25, 2006 Nurses should outnumber health care assistants by two to one on wards, according to a report published yesterday. The Royal College of Nursing said its report was the first time it had set out the skill mix needed on general wards. The RCN said it had acted to provide nurses with information to combat staffing reviews, aimed at driving down costs. The report sets out 13 principles for staffing reviews, including ensuring they are led by senior nurses. ... Report

Workforce planning has never been more important, says RCN

Royal College of Nursing, July 4, 2006

Following yesterday’s decision to restrict the entry of overseas nurses to the UK, the RCN is calling on the Government to invest in robust workforce planning measures to ensure any decisions affecting the nursing workforce will be beneficial in the long term.

Whilst the RCN acknowledges that reducing the future number of overseas nurses may provide some posts for home grown students, this still remains a short term solution. The longer term answer must be a comprehensive system for workforce planning across the whole UK health sector. ... Workforce

Foreign nurses barred in attempt to help homegrown candidates

Sarah Hall, Guardian, July 4, 2006

Thousands of international nurses are to be banned from working in the UK to improve the chances of homegrown candidates getting a job, the government announced yesterday. The vast majority of overseas nurses will no longer be able to get work permits unless NHS trusts can prove they are unable to fill the posts with candidates trained in the European Economic Area or the UK.

International nurses now working in Britain will be unaffected by the rule changes, which come in on August 7, as will those applying for specialised areas such as intensive care in which there are shortages. ... Foreign

Hospitals barred from hiring foreign nurses

Jane Kirby, Independent News, July 3, 2006

Thousands of international nurses will be prevented from getting jobs in the UK to give "homegrown" students better employment opportunities, the Government announced today.

Under the plans, overseas nurses will be barred from applying for junior posts unless a UK nurse or a nurse from the EEA (European Economic Area) cannot fill the job.

The move applies to nurses in bands 5 and 6 - those with between a few months experience and around one a half years. ... Hospitals

RCN responds to international nurse recruitment announcement

Royal College of Nurses, July 3, 2006

The RCN has reacted strongly to the Department of Health's announcement that it is to restrict international nurse recruitment by removing nursing from the list of recognised shortage professions.

The change will apply to nursing posts graded at Agenda for Change bands 5 and 6 where, the DH claims, the overall supply of nurses is now healthy. Removing general nurses from the shortage occupation list means that overseas nurses applying for their first position in the UK, or those changing their employer, must mean that vacancy must be advertised nationally before their applications may be considered. ... RCN

Home Malone!

UK super-nurse returns to US.
Voice-Online, June 27, 2006

General Secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, Dr Beverly Malone, announced last week that she will stand down in January after nearly six years leading the world's largest trade union for nurses.

Dr Malone will be taking up the position of Chief Executive of the National League for Nursing (NLN) based in New York. Founded in 1893, the NLN champions quality nursing education in the United States.

Talking about her decision, Dr Malone said: “It has been a difficult decision to step down as general secretary of the RCN, but the time is right to return home to the States. ..." Home

RCN confirms general secretary's departure

Hélène Mulholland, Guardian Unlimited, June 20, 2006

The Royal College of Nursing today confirmed that its general secretary is standing down, just days after insisting Beverly Malone had "no intention" of resigning.

Guardian Unlimited revealed last week that the leader of the 390,000 strong nursing union planned to step down and return to the US, weeks after sanctioning a staged protest against the health secretary, Patricia Hewitt, at the college's annual conference.

Ms Malone defended the coordinated and unprecedented protest at the conference, which saw a humiliated Ms Hewitt barracked over job losses resulting from financial deficits. ... RCN

NHS health workers' cuts protest

Doctors and nurses were among the NHS health workers taking part in a May Day rally to protest against privatisation of the service.
BBC News, May 1, 2006
Members of Keep our NHS Public also called for transparency and fewer cuts during the rally in Oxford. Dr Helen Groom, secretary of the group, addressed the event. Marchers assembled at Bonn Square, before walking to East Oxford Community Centre on International Workers Day. About 300 attended a rally in 2005. Dr Groom said: "The government needs to come clean about what it is actually doing within the service."

Hewitt heckled by furious nurses

Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt has been heckled for the second time in three days by health workers.
BBC News, April 26, 2006

Ms Hewitt was jeered and slow hand-clapped by nurses at a conference in Bournemouth as she tried to address their fears about NHS deficits.

Nurses were angered by her suggestion they had had big pay rises and debts were confined to a minority of trusts.

Her speech ended in confusion as the audience erupted in jeers. It came after she addressed Unison on Monday. ... Hewitt

Angry nurses 'could be driven to strike'

Maxine Frith, Independent, April 25, 2006
Nurses have begun talking about industrial action for the first time in years as the row over financial problems in the NHS continues to escalate. Leaders of the two largest nursing unions warned that their members are becoming so angry and demoralised by rising deficits, falling pay and redundancies that they could work to rule or even take strike action, adding to the pressure on the Health Secretary, Patricia Hewitt.

Thousand more NHS managers appointed as nurses face the axe

Jo Revill & Gaby Hinsliff, Observer, April 23, 2006

Fresh questions about spending in the NHS will be raised tomorrow when new government figures are released showing more than 1,000 extra hospital managers were created last year.

The growth in managers accompanied a similar rise in the number of other healthcare staff, particularly nurses. This shows that throughout 2005 hospital trusts carried on hiring staff despite the fact that some were facing sizeable deficits. The figures, contained in a workforce survey, show that the number of managers is now just below 40,000. ... Thousand

Nurses wish Hewitt the very best of luck ... in her next job

Sam Lister, The Times, April 27, 2006

Patricia Hewitt had to cut short a speech to nurses on the state of the NHS after she was drowned out by jeers, boos and catcalls yesterday.

The Health Secretary struggled to defend the Government’s programme of reforms and the rising number of NHS redundancies as she addressed the Royal College of Nursing’s annual conference in Bournemouth. Shouts of “resign”, “shame” and “rubbish”, and chanting and foot-stamping from among the 2,000 nurses repeatedly disrupted Ms Hewitt as she attempted to explain the NHS’s problems. ... Nurses

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