16 January 2013
RCN reaction to the Comprehensive Spending Review
20 10 2010 | The RCN Public Affairs Team
At half past twelve today, straight after Prime Minister’s Questions, Chancellor George Osborne took to the floor of the Commons to deliver his maiden Spending Review. The RCN was quick to respond recognising that while the NHS will receive a real-terms increase in funding, the reality is that for many on the ground it will still feel like a cut. The facts are that these are small increases at a time of soaring demand on NHS services and pressure to make £20 billion of efficiency savings in England. As the results of the Spending Review start to take effect it is likely that job losses will increase and benefits will be squeezed. And it always tends to be the most vulnerable in society – those less able to speak out – that will suffer the brunt of these severe cuts.
Already in its settlement the Department of Health has indicated that it will no longer be able to take forward providing one to one nursing care for cancer patients. This is extremely disappointing as we know the value cancer nurses give to patients as well as the cost effectiveness of specialist nursing. From the moment of diagnosis, cancer can be a subject of fear and distress, but more and more people are now living with cancer and beating the disease. Specialist nurses can help all cancer patients to deal with their emotions, avoid unnecessary complications and have a high quality of life.
The RCN is realistic about the financial challenges the nation faces. We are also aware that nurses are working tirelessly in the NHS, under great pressure, to deliver good care for people through tough times. Through our Frontline First campaign we are committed to supporting them and the NHS through this difficult period.