Surprise echoed around the IN office when the news came through that Peter Carter would be leaving the RCN. He has been a prominent figure, championing nurses and the issues affecting them at every opportunity. He replaced Beverly Malone in 2006, whose tenure was controversial from the start. Peter took over at a turbulent time for nursing but has steered the organisation through choppy waters into a stronger position. The RCN has seen a rise in membership, particularly when the government refused all NHS staff a 1% pay rise last April. Although the RCN's track record of championing primary care nursing has been patchy, the appointment of a dedicated professional lead last year proved Peter was serious when he told IN he intended to 'highlight the incredible contribution primary care nurses can make'.
The question on everyone's mind now is: who will take up the mantle at the RCN?
On a different note, IN supported and attended PCN Expo 2015 in the first week of February. The CPD event promotes delivery of the best-possible clinical care in practice. More than 420 primary care nurses attended sessions on cardiology, diabetes, contraception, dermatology and immunisation, among other things. The day was a success. Feedback from delegates was positive: many of the nurses said they would use their new skills in practice to improve patient care. Work is already underway to make next year's Expo bigger and better.