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Nursing 'skills drain' from public health

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Skilled nursing staff must be retained by local authorities during the transition from NHS to local authority health planning, according to RCN general secretary Dr Peter Carter.

Giving oral evidence to the Communities and Local Government Committee on the role of local authorities in health issues last week, Dr Carter warned of a nursing ‘skills drain', with staff disinclined to move to local authorities due to reduced pay and pension conditions.

Responding to the statement ‘the NHS has marginalised public health; hopefully the changes will bring it back to centre stage', Dr Carter said the RCN supported localised public health planning, but had concerns about potential shortfalls in funding transferred to local authorities.

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