Nurse cuts ‘put 7-day plan at risk’
By Nick Triggle
21 June 2015
From the section Health
The guidelines say there must be enough nurses to give patients the assistance they need
Plans to create more seven-day services across the NHS in England are being put in jeopardy because of cuts to senior nurse posts, union leaders are warning.
Official data shows the number of nurses employed in the two most senior grades have fallen by 3% since 2010.
These posts cover roles such as ward sisters and senior positions such as nurse consultants that lead teams.
The Royal College of Nursing said such roles would be vital in the proposed seven-day drive.
The government has promised to recruit 5,000 new GPs and another 5,000 support staff, including practice nurses, to pave the way for the weekend opening of GP surgeries.
But there has been little detail about how the initiative will work across other areas, such as routine hospital operations and cancer care.
While the overall workforce of nurses has been growing, the number filling senior band seven and eight roles fell by 2,295 over the past five years to just over 64,000.
Speaking ahead of the start of the RCN annual conference on Monday, the union’s general secretary Peter Carter said: “Nursing staff, and above all, senior expert nurses, are a huge part of the solution to delivering seven-day care.
“Many nurses working as ward sisters or clinical experts are able to make decisions, supervise teams and educate and mentor their junior colleagues.”
The issue also looks set to be a major theme of the British Medical Association’s …read more
Source:: BBC UK