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RCN to debate patient charges for GP access

Nursing leaders have called on politicians to clearly set out their plans for future NHS funding. 

Today at the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Congress in Liverpool, members will be debating patient charges for GP visits. 

An RCN statement claimed that if the resolution is adopted it would be a "dramatic departure" from traditional RCN views. 

Dr Peter Carter, RCN chief executive said that although GP charging is a "controversial" topic, it goes to the heart of the debate about what the NHS is and should be.

He said:  “The political parties need to follow our lead and make it clear now, as we head towards a General Election, what their policies are on future NHS funding.

“There has been smoke and mirrors for too long and services, staff and patients have suffered from a lack of clarity about the direction of this most British of institutions.

“Now is the time to end the guessing game and start talking about viable solutions and a clear long term vision for the NHS. Nurses are stepping up to the plate and having difficult but honest and important discussions.  It's time for our politicians to do the same. There is too much at stake for them not to do so. ”