A nursing-specific post will be created in the Department of Health, after the nursing directorate was abolished in June.
The new post will focus on nursing and allied health professional policy issues, including parliamentary business. The previous post for nursing, midwifery, and allied health professionals was scrapped as part of the Department of Health’s plans to cut administrative costs.
‘Nursing leadership, at the highest levels, is the key to achieving the best possible healthcare in the UK,’ said RCN Chief Executive Janet Davies. ‘Time and time again, we’ve seen that when things go wrong for nursing, things also go wrong for patients; the nursing profession needs to have a strong voice in Government in order to prevent crises in care.’
The decision was made to reinstate the post after a petition started by RCN member Deborah Glover received more than 10,000 signatures, which requires the Government to respond.
‘It’s positive that a new nursing post will form part of the new structure,’ added Ms Davies. ‘We look forward to working together with the DH to ensure that the nursing profession is at the centre of designing policy which impacts on patient care.’
'The government is absolutely committed to ensuring the voice of nursing, midwifery and allied health professionals is heard loud and clear in all of our policy making,' said the Department of Health's response to the petition. 'To ensure that the importance and profile of nursing and allied health professionals issues is maintained, the department will include a post specifically on nursing and allied health professional policy issues, including parliamentary business, in its the new structure.'