Lobby group calls for staff unity in response to government’s NHS reforms
Safe Staffing Alliance urges nurses, doctors and allied health professionals to unite to protect a ‘crumbling NHS’
All staff in the NHS should form a united front in the face of major changes proposed by the government, says The Safe Staffing Alliance (SSA).
SSA chair Susan Osborne used her speech at the safe staffing summit in London today (Tuesday) to urge greater unity between nurses, doctors and allied health professionals.
Since the start of the year, the government has launched consultations on a new nurse associate role and proposals to replace the nursing bursary with student loans. It is also locked in an industrial dispute with junior doctors over the imposition of a new contract.
Ms Osborne called the plan to scrap the bursary 'a landmark moment for nurse education' and urged the audience at the Hallam Conference Centre in Marylebone to take part in the consultation 'to ensure this issue is not swept under the carpet'.
Insisting the doctors' strike 'was not about pay' but 'about a safe NHS' she added: 'The health service is crumbling. We have all got to come together as a profession and work as one clinical body if we are going to get the care we want. If we work in our own silos we will be picked off.'
The event, which is being run by Healthcare Conferences UK, featured an address from RCN policy adviser Stuart Abrahams. He said patient safety is 'the number one priority' for nurses when they speak to RCN representatives.
He also explained how the RCN is working with Health Education England and the newly formed NHS Improvement to develop policies in the wake of the Carter Review into NHS performance and efficiency.