16 January 2013
Latest media round up as RCN responds to Number 10 meeting
22 02 2012 | RCN Public Affairs Team
The nation’s media continues to focus heavily on the Government’s Health and Social Care Bill, with the RCN at the very heart of the debate. Last Friday evening, it was revealed that Downing Street would be holding a meeting on Monday to discuss the NHS reforms and possible ways forward. However, the RCN, along with other organisations such as the BMA and RCGPs, who opposed the bill, did not receive an invite to the meeting.
We responded with a statement from RCN Chief Executive & General Secretary Dr Peter Carter, who said: “It is difficult to understand how the Government believes it can hold a productive meeting on the NHS reforms without representation from the single biggest workforce in the NHS. They have continually pledged throughout this process to put clinicians in the driving seat, yet this decision would suggest an unwillingness to engage with the views of nurses."
The media’s interest in the story continued all weekend and into Monday. On Saturday, Dr Peter Carter was interviewed live on the BBC News Channel and pre-recorded an interview for Sky News that was used as part of their package on the issue. Dr Carter was also interviewed on the ITV early evening news on Sunday, where he said: “We are committed to working with the Government even though we have huge reservations about this bill. We really don't think it's a very sensible way forward to think you can have a meeting – it's been called an emergency summit – without involving many of the key organisations that are intrinsic to ensuring that the NHS is successful."
On Monday, Dr Carter appeared on the Today programme, BBC News Channel and was interviewed on the influential Sky News programme ‘Boulton and Co,’ alongside Professor Chris Ham from the King’s Fund. In the evening, Dr Carter was interviewed on Channel 4 News alongside Conservative MP, Dr Dan Poulter. Dr Carter also wrote an opinion piece in City AM outlining why the RCN is opposed to the Health and Social Care bill.
Throughout these interviews, we told listeners and viewers of the concerns that the RCN has over the bill. These issues, which we have raised on numerous occasions, include competition, the private patient income cap and nurse involvement. We will continue to highlight these concerns as the bill continues its progress through the House of Lords.