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Nursing leader blasts lack of nursing involvement in reforms

A nursing organisation has expressed its “disappointment” over the number of authorised clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) without a nursing presence.

The NHS Commissioning Board (NHS CB) today (Tuesday 11 December 2012) announced that all bar one of the 34 CCGs in wave one have been authorised, with eight being 'authorised with no conditions' and the remaining 26 authorised CCGs being 'authorised with conditions'.

Those that have been 'authorised with conditions' have been told they will “need to continue developing” to allow them to meet the authorisation criteria in all 119 areas.

Despite the managing director of commissioning development at the NHS CB Dame Barbara Hakin heaping praise on CCGs for “admirably” rising to the challenge of authorisation, the head of Royal College of Nursing (RCN) is concerned over the lack of nurse representation.

Dr Peter Carter, chief executive and general secretary of the RCN, said he was “disappointed” to see some CCG have been authorised “without the presence of anyone from the nursing profession on their Board”.

“While we realise that this is currently a work in progress, this requirement [to have a nurse on the board] has been known for quite some time,” he said.

“In addition, it is not just about the presence of qualified nurses. It is also about wider nursing involvement in commissioning and support at every level, so we can be assured that commissioning will be driven on a clinical basis.

“The RCN is committed to working with the chief nursing officer so that nurses are sufficiently represented and high quality patient care and safety is at the heart of all CCG operations.”