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.

Monday, 25 October 2010

The blog below was originally published on the Frontline First website. Please visit to join in this crucial campaign.

I’m writing this blog having just travelled back from the Conservative Party Conference, where the RCN’s response to the White Paper was a hot topic of discussion.

As many of you will have already seen, the RCN has enjoyed a high profile with the health media over the last two days. I believe this is a testament to how respected and important your voice has become.

We issued our response to the hugely important White Paper on Monday and it’s fair to say it was an honest, frank and intelligent reaction to the radical proposals planned for the NHS. We welcomed the principles in the Paper, such as the drive towards a patient centred health service, greater control for health professionals and more available information on providers and clinicians.

However, all radical changes come with risk; the White Paper is no exception. Couple this with the fact that the NHS in England is being asked to save £20bn by 2014 and the changes look even harder to implement successfully.

One of our biggest concerns relates to the sheer importance of piloting the many proposals within the White Paper. If £80bn is to be handed over to GPs for the commissioning of services, we think it essential that this model is at least piloted to see if it will work.

Then of course there is nurse leadership, which is noticeably absent from the White Paper. The role of the nurse has changed dramatically in the last 15 years, with large numbers taking on important responsibilities for the financial health of organisations. With the planned abolition of PCTs and SHAs, we are very concerned as to what nurse leadership will look like post-White Paper, as these structures have allowed nurses to progress up the career ladder.

If you want more information, you can read our full response and its executive summary from our dedicated White Paper micro-site, as well as watching a video blog with our Head of Policy, Howard Catton.

Despite our concerns relating to the proposals, we can be proud of how loud the nursing voice has been this week and how much it has been heard. Much of this is down to you; through this website you told us what you thought of the changes, and we listened.

The months ahead will be critical for the future of the NHS and thanks to your input and expertise we will ensure that nursing is at the very heart of the debate.

Thank you.


  1. Cuts to my local CMHT
    Hello people. ;)

    I am currently a patient at the local Community Mental Health Team. C.M.H.T. As i have been for the past four years, i am actively seeking a way back into work and doing my best to make my circumstances better and trying to be as positive as possible for my future. I suffer with Schizophrenia and Agoraphobia, which is medicated.

    Two weeks ago i was talking to my support worker whom takes an interest in politics and enjoy's her job as a support worker. She has been very helpful and her role has been very useful to me when i have needed her support.
    So as i said i was talking to her two weeks ago, she informed me that she is being made redundant by the NHS, as are every single support worker in the Surrey Primary Care Trust. She has helped me with such things as dealing with debt at the citizens advice and considering moving to another area. I was assisted by her and supported through times when i needed support. And now there will be no support worker position at my local C.M.H.T. which is in the area of Redhill and Reigate.

    I am very dissapointed in this, as there are many people whom need support. During the conversation we had she told me that clients of this particular C.M.H.T., which is in a number of around 3000 in the local area, should not be informed of the changes that were being made until the management and administrators had gone ahead with the changes. I believe this is wrong.

    In fact! She went on to say that the number of Doctors in the clinic shall be cut from 3 to 2. And that the number of mental health nurses would be cut from anumber of around 10-12 (can't remember the exact figure) to 5!!!!! This is absolutely shocking i believe!
    And for those poor patients that are suffering the most and that can't speak up about this matter, well my heart goes out to them, because as the cuts are being made in this clinic, there is also another clinic on the other side of the town center....with a number of patients of around 350 (whom are quite severely ill) which are going to become patients of my C.M.H.T.

    This means less appointments and less appointment time for each patient, which ulimately less care for each patient.

    Statistically speaking, people whom suffer with mental health, a majority of them have few friends, are in fear in the local community and suffer on a day to day basis. They struggle to live their lives in a normal organized way, which average joe takes for granted.
    So, to say that the cuts being made to the nurses in the local clinic has already gone underway and they all are being reinterviewed by the way......which clients had no prior knowledge to....Because the staff were told not to inform us, is, i'm sorry to say.........absolutely proposturous and just plain simple wrong!

    People like me and those wom are severly ill are losing out on better care, which should be improved.....not made worse or cut so that there are less resources.

    I ask the question....are mentally ill people being vicitmised by the government & local council for their inabilty to get back to work. If mental health sufferers have less care and there are less resources to get these people well, back on their feet and back to work. There are less chances of these same people paying tax and more importantly enjoying their lives. Like i have mentioned in this blog, sufferers of mental health suffer on a day to day basis, there isn't a known cure, just medication and therapy to control their symptoms.
    Which i can also go on to include that the main priority of care is to relieve symptoms and not to lead patients to a happier life. But that is another topic.

    And i saw on the news last night that the NHS will make 150,000 job cuts. If one works out how many people work in a hospital and divide 150,000 by that number, see what the answer is!
    Although i am not saying that it is going to work that way, i am very aware that NHS staff emply cleaners, administrators, managers, Doctors and so on.


  2. Please speak up on this matter Dr Carter. 3000 + patients are going to lack care due to lack of resources.
    This is just in one clinic, which is in Reigate and Banstead area. It is in a building called Shaw's corner.

    Why are the mental health department of the NHS being so severely cut?
    Is it because the patients are less likely to get back to work and pay tax?
    If it is then it's discrimination.

    I went to my clinic today and asked two memebrs of staff how many nurses will be left after the cuts and their reply was "we don't know"
    Well i was told 5 two weeks ago by a member of staff.

    Something smells fishy or they just have no idea what is going on themselves. Let alone the clients, i may have been tol in confidence, but she never mentioned anything about it being in confidence.

    But to say that the NHS are hiding vital information about cuts that will be made, which will affect the health and wellbeing of 3000+ people......well i just can't think of words to say about that!

    And all across the country (well at least Surrey) this is or could be happening! It is just plain and simple wrong!