RCN warns on community services transfer

The outgoing government's Transforming Community Services reforms could fragment services and have left staff fearing they will no longer be employed by the NHS, policy experts say.

Mr Catton: respect the individual choices of community services staff
Mr Catton: respect the individual choices of community services staff

But health secretary Andrew Lansley has suggested the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition could reverse changes not supported by local patients and clinicians.

RCN head of policy Howard Catton said the college had received consistent feedback from nurses affected who say they chose to work for the NHS and feel very strongly that they want this to continue.

‘This is an important issue for staff. They have made a choice about where they want to work and it's important that this is acknowledged and included in the debate about future organisational models,' he said.

Mr Catton said this was not about nurses being anti-privatisation or anti-independent sector, it was about respecting the individual choices of community services staff. He said staff did not want to be transferred to another employer without consultation.

‘If the only options are those where staff will have to change their employers, and the staff don't have a choice about that, then it causes a reaction and potentially makes the change process more difficult,' he said.

The health secretary last week backed integration to improve services, but said changes should have the support of local patients and clinicians.

Read this week's Independent Nurse dated 17 May for the full version of this story

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