16 January 2013
What happened at Congress 2012
18 05 2012
The Frontline First campaign was key theme through this week’s Congress and it would not have been such a success without the efforts of you, our members. You supplied us with valuable data on the cuts you are seeing first hand and we were then able to use this to share with the world.
We kicked off on Sunday with details of a new survey that found that patients are being cared for in places that just aren’t suitable, like corridors. The story was covered in all the Sunday papers including The Observer and The Sunday Mirror. It was also covered by the BBC which included an interview with Dr Peter Carter, Chief Executive & General Secretary of the RCN.
Heading into Monday, much of the coverage was focused on the impending visit of the Secretary of State for Health, Andrew Lansley. The RCN released a new Frontline First report which revealed that over 60,000 NHS posts are now set to go, with more than 26,000 already having left the NHS. This was the lead story on both BBC Breakfast and ITV Daybreak and made almost all UK papers including The Guardian, Independent, the Daily Telegraph, The South Wales Echo, Belfast Telegraph, The Scotsman and the Herald. Dr Carter was also interviewed live on the flagship Today programme on BBC Radio 4.
On Monday afternoon, the Secretary of State addressed Congress and took questions after his speech. Dr Carter warned him that nurses were incredibly unhappy at the moment and that despite the respectful reception he received, he should be very aware of this. Much of the media attention following his speech focused on the number of nursing posts that have been cut from the NHS. As the Mirror pointed out, the Government appeared to cite three different figures throughout the day, with the number increasing each time. Dr Carter gave interviews to ITV, Sky and the BBC several times throughout the day.
Tuesday’s papers naturally carried extensive coverage of Andrew Lansley’s speech including a political sketch by Michael White. The Guardian carried an article on Dr Carter’s keynote address. The Independent and the Guardian carried articles which previewed Ed Miliband’s visit to Congress and the key messages from his speech.
Then on Wednesday the focus turned to learning disability nurses and the valuable service they provide with an excellent feature in the Guardian Society pages and a news story. Several members also took part in a session on inspirational nurses which featured this fantastic video on learning disability nursing.
Congress couldn’t have happened without you our members and whether you attended in person, watched online or contributed via surveys or Frontline First, you certainly made your voice heard.