Welcome to my Blog. I hope you find the posts interesting, informative and perhaps even entertaining(!). I'll update this Blog with my responses to topical stories of the day, important news and tales of my travels up and down the UK, meeting our inspirational nursing staff.

The RCN represents almost 400,000 nurses in the UK and is the country's largest nursing union.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

The next step...

Having recently departed from the Labour party conference, one issue in particular stayed with me. Both the Prime Minister and Andy Burnham, the Secretary of State for Health, made mention of the Social Care Green Paper; one of the most important pieces of work being undertaken right now.

Last year we celebrated the 60th birthday of our national health service and now we must turn our attention to ensuring an equally fair and available social care service.

The current framework for adult social care is now widely recognised as confusing and outdated. Patients often find themselves on a ‘revolving door’ between health and social care – the current system needs a radical overhaul.

The Government admits the status quo isn’t good enough. This status quo ranges from more money being taken from those who have saved to a postcode lottery for quality care.

A far greater percentage of the population are now cared for in their own homes, which can only be a positive move. However, many care services in the community remain fragmented. Moving the care of vulnerable people into local areas will require significant investment in community nursing services, along with community matrons, district nurses and specialist nurses.

What’s more, effective preventative measures can have significant long-term gains; such as investing to prevent falls, which can mean people not having to experience an unplanned admission into hospital or into residential care.

There is much to discuss and your involvement is crucial. ‘Big Care Debates’ are being held up and down the Country so please go to the event being held near you - http://careandsupport.direct.gov.uk/

The RCN is looking in detail at the Government’s green paper consultation that closes in early November and as usual will help shape the crucial health decisions that will follow. Members have till the end of October to contribute to our consultation, find out more on the RCN website (www.rcn.org.uk).

Please do contact the RCN to share views with us at policycontacts@rcn.org.uk

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