Sunday, 21 August 2011

RCN and the health bill

Wrote to the Nursing Standard yesterday. The RCN leadership is appallingly right wing and it is bizarre to think that a General Secretary of a union could be comfortable with privatisation and all it entails.

Dear Editor,

Campaigners are right to criticise the RCN leadership for their strange position supporting the NHS Bill (Letters NS 17/8) and a second letter last week on NHS pensions demonstrates why.  The comments by the private sector manager that the NHS is bloated and that nurses are paid much more than their private sector colleagues should strike fear into all nurses who thought that Andrew Lansley's bill would be good for nursing.

The Health Bill is a blueprint for privatisation. It picks up on the work that Labour has done over the past ten years and takes it to new heights, opening the NHS to becoming rapidly privatised. Over the past few years we have witnessed a hospital being put out to tender to be run by a private company and we can expect much more in the future. Community providers will be no different.

The RCN leadership should be ashamed of backing a bill that will undermines the pay and conditions of its members. Nurses need to speak out, unless you think you are overpaid and your pension is too big, of course.

Stuart Jeffery RN
Health Spokesperson for the Green Party

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