Nursing chiefs: plans for the NHS a ‘serious threat’

Kevin Austerberry, regional director for the Royal College of Nursing in Yorkshire
Kevin Austerberry, regional director for the Royal College of Nursing in Yorkshire
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THE professional body which represents nurses has spoken out in opposition to the proposed revamp of the NHS.

The Royal College of Nurses, along with the Royal College of Midwives, have come out in opposition to the Health and Social Care Bill.

It argued that serious concerns by members had not been addressed and said the bill is a “serious threat” to the NHS.

The RCN’s Yorkshire director Kevin Austerberry said: “Opposing this bill is not a decision we have taken lightly – we have worked hard on behalf of all our members, including those in West Yorkshire, to influence the decisions that have been taken at Westminster.

“However, it is now clear that these ‘reforms’ are forging ahead on the ground – despite the genuine concerns of nurses, doctors, midwives and other health professionals. We know, from our Frontline First campaign, that hundreds of posts are being lost throughout the NHS in Yorkshire, putting patient care in serious jeopardy. So to carry on with these reforms at the time when the NHS in England alone has to save £20 billion by 2014-15 is, quite simply, the wrong thing to do.”

He adeed: “If the bill is allowed to proceed in its current form, it risks damaging the precious NHS which our members have worked hard to build and to support.”

The RCN said recent announcements, such as the rise in the cap on private patients being treated in NHS hospitals, make the bill in its entirety a serious threat to the NHS.