Concerns Regarding Department of Health’s New Nursing Post
After the breakdown of the nursing and midwifery policy unit, the Department of Health have announced plans to create a single new position covering nursing and allied health professional policy issues.
However, there are concerns that this new position will not provide the level of advice needed to help aid government decisions. The new post will require close liaison with the chief nursing officer and chief AHP officer.
The new position has been created in response to a petition to have the nursing directorate at the DH to be retained. The petition came about as government’s plans were to reduce the nursing and midwifery workforce size all together, but instead they have agreed to create the new post.
There are concerns that the new position will not hold the same level of knowledge and seniority as the previous nursing posts that were among the policy unit. This level of knowledge will be particularly important at this moment in time, due to “big and important policy shifts”.
Professor Jane Ball, nurse research fellow at the University of Southampton expressed her concerns about the new post as she feels that one person cannot compensate for a team of 7 members, and just relying on one perspective for both Nursing and AHP resources may have an impact on government decisions.
Professor Jill Maben, of the National Nursing Research Unit at King’s College London also expressed her concerns regarding the single position. She commented on how broad the nursing profession is and identified how different nurses will need different policies. She also raised the fact that AHP’s will have their own specific needs from that of nurses, so it will be very difficult for one person to cover all areas successfully.