This site is intended for health professionals only

Top nurse quits over NHS "red tape"

A woman who was named Nurse of the Year has revealed she is leaving the profession because she is fed up with NHS reforms and red tape.

Justine Whitaker, who has been a nurse for 18 years, was awarded the prestigious Nursing Standard title earlier this year for her innovations in cancer nursing.

She pioneered a compression garment to help patients with prostate cancer, which has become used on a wider scale.

But the 37-year-old has decided to give up her career with the East Lancashire Primary Care Trust (PCT) and will take up a post as a senior lecturer in lymphoedema (tissue swelling) at the University of Central Lancashire in December.

Speaking about her decision, she warned that common sense decisions are being lost within the tiers of management in the NHS and spoke of morale being "horrendous".

Mrs Whitaker, from the Clitheroe area, said: "It has been a very hard decision because I'm a nurse and I want to nurse.

"The trust I work for are very good and they are working very hard to meet the government reforms. I'm not leaving because I'm working for a poor trust."

She said the problem was that she was sitting at a desk filling in reports instead of nursing.

"The patients are missing out," she added.

East Lancashire Primary Care Trust

Copyright © PA Business 2007