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Government has told me to ‘bring nurses under control’ – RCN general secretary

Dame Donna Kinnair’s revelation comes as she urges nurses to keep speaking out about concerns

Dame Donna Kinnair’s revelation comes as she urges nurses to keep speaking out about concerns


Dame Donna Kinnair. Picture: John Houlihan

The RCN has been told by the government to bring its members ‘under control’ because their voice is getting ‘too loud’, the college’s general secretary has claimed.

Dame Donna Kinnair told the Queen’s Nursing Institute (QNI) conference in London, government representatives had complained to her about how vocal nurses have become.

‘Nursing voices are getting too loud – so I was told’

‘You have to bring your membership under control because their voice is getting too loud,’ she said she was told.

‘But I want to make sure your voice is amplified, so tell your stories and share your views with me so I can.’


RCN members take part in a street demonstration. Picture: Mark Hakansson

The RCN is campaigning for a safe nurse staffing law in England. Professor Kinnair spoke about how pay and access to learning continue to be issues nurses face.

‘We don’t expect to be the best-paid staff but this profession does need continuing professional development… and we need to eat too,’ she said.

Support for call to protect CPD funding

She won loud applause when she called on the government to ‘stop using nursing education money as a slush fund’.

Professor Kinnair made her comments during a conference panel discussion.

The Department of Health and Social Care was invited to comment on the RCN's claim.


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