News

What nurses do is not always recognised, admits NHS England chief executive

Politicians do not always recognise the role of primary care nurses, NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens said at the Chief Nursing Officer summit in Birmingham on Tuesday.
Nurse role

Politicians do not always recognise the role of primary care nurses, NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens said at the Chief Nursing Officer summit in Birmingham on Tuesday.

Picture: iStock

During a question and answer session Mr Stevens was asked by Unison head of nursing Gail Adams why nurse development and investment in specialist areas was always the first to go when budgets were squeezed.

Calling for parity, and receiving a round of applause from delegates, she said: ‘The irony is, the secretary of state didn’t stop bursaries for doctors or postgraduate funding for doctors.’

She referred to nursing being respected by the public, adding: ‘We must have confidence in ourselves, but I don’t think government has it in us.’

Mr Stevens replied: ‘It seems once a week I go before the Commons Public Accounts Committee, and I was there last week talking

Politicians do not always recognise the role of primary care nurses, NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens said at the Chief Nursing Officer summit in Birmingham on Tuesday.

Nurse role
Picture: iStock

During a question and answer session Mr Stevens was asked by Unison head of nursing Gail Adams why nurse development and investment in specialist areas was always the first to go when budgets were squeezed.

Calling for parity, and receiving a round of applause from delegates, she said: ‘The irony is, the secretary of state didn’t stop bursaries for doctors or postgraduate funding for doctors.’

She referred to nursing being respected by the public, adding: ‘We must have confidence in ourselves, but I don’t think government has it in us.’

Mr Stevens replied: ‘It seems once a week I go before the Commons Public Accounts Committee, and I was there last week talking about primary care.’

He said a member asked: ‘Will the public really consider seeing a nurse in primary care? Well we know that 80 million patients already are.

‘The public are way ahead of where some of national debate is on this.’

Much debate at the summit concerned primary and community nurses, with NHS England chief nurse Jane Cummings and health secretary Jeremy Hunt emphasising the importance of the roles.

During Professor Cummings’ keynote speech she revealed NHS England is to publish a ten-point plan for practice nurses.


In other news

I don’t think nurse pay is enough,’ says Jeremy Hunt

New tool to help nurses develop emergency treatment plans with patients

Sign up to continue reading for FREE

OR

Unlock full access to RCNi Plus today

Save over 50% on your first three months:

  • Customisable clinical dashboard featuring 200+ topics
  • Unlimited online access to all 10 RCNi Journals including Nursing Standard
  • RCNi Learning featuring 180+ RCN accredited learning modules
  • NMC-compliant RCNi Portfolio to build evidence for revalidation
  • Personalised newsletters tailored to your interests

This article is not available as part of an institutional subscription. Why is this?

Jobs