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Top news stories of 2015

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Top primary care news of 2015 Top primary care news of 2015

Pay restraint
NHS pay will be restrained to a 1% annual pay increase for the next four years announced Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne in the first budget since the majority Conservative government came to power. Mr Osborne revealed that public sector pay would continue to be capped at 1%. This includes all nurses and all NHS workers.

Cuts to public health budgets
The government announced on 5 June that it will cut £200 million from local authority health budgets. Many have criticised the decision, saying that cuts to funding will impact services such as school nursing,health visiting, smoking cessation and obesity services, and other public health services.

Cutting student nurse bursaries
The Spending Review in November saw grants for student nurses replaced with loans, which government has said will abolish caps on student nursing numbers will be abolished. Chancellor George Osborne said that this means that universities will be able to provide up to 10,000 additional nursing and other healthcare professionals by 2020. The announcement led to much concern from nursing figures and a petition signed by over 145,000 people.

Safe staffing levels halted
NHS England asked NICE to stop work on safe staffing levels despite having not published any for community nursing. Instead NHS England will take forward the research as part of wider research into workforce planning. An emergency item was put forward at RCN Congress to urge Council to lobby the government on a u-turn. It was later announced the NICE will publish its initial research into community nursing soon.

New model of revalidation approved

Following months of consultation the Nursing and Midwifery Council approved the new model of revalidation in October. The four government's subsequently expressed their readiness to implement revalidation. The first nurses to revalidate under the new model will be those due for renewal in April 2016.

What do you think were the most important news stories in 2015? Comment below and let us know.

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