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Campaigning to nip tokenism in the bud

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Nurses must have a value on CCG boards Nurses must have a value on CCG boards

Campaigns are like buses, and in this edition of Independent Nurse, we are highlighting three of them. In addition to Labour's Drop the Bill campaign, outlined in our exclusive interview with shadow health secretary Andy Burnham, there is an update on the Queen's Nursing Institute's Right Nurse, Right Skills initiative.

In her column QNI director Rosemary Cook talks about the campaign's Nursing People at Home report, published today, which demands action to ensure that there are enough of the right nurses, with the right skills, to keep patients safe and well cared for at home.

But I will save a particular fanfare for the launch of our own No Tokenism campaign, which calls for primary care and community nurses to play a real part in health commissioning.

As we explain in detail in our news focus (page 10), reserving a seat for one registered nurse on clinical commissioning group (CCG) boards must not be considered an end in itself. Nurses deserve real influence and patients deserve to know that the clinicians who most often act as their advocates have a voice in decisions that will affect their future care.

This campaign is not about dwelling on negativity, though it is a shame to hear, from grassroots nurses, that many face ongoing barriers to inclusion in local commissioning structures.

We have practical, constructive aims: to highlight barriers to influencing commissioning and to support nurses in overcoming them; to provide timely updates on related policy and practice; and to champion the efforts of nurses with CCG board roles as well as those who are able to influence the agenda in other ways.

We need your help: to highlight problems; to promote solutions; to demonstrate achievements. Help us to nip 'tokenism' in the bud and ensure that nurses have a real role in commissioning.

What do you think? Leave a comment below or tweet your views to @IndyNurseMag

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