LETTERS: Changes in nursing care

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The Independent Online
Sir: Nick Timmins' analysis of the latest think tank report on nursing ("Cleaners become carers in brave new world", 23 May) will have alarmed both nurses and their patients alike.

The revolution for the NHS workforce he refers to is nothing new to nurses. Nurses more than any other professional group have adapted successfully to the roller coaster of change which is the modern health service.

Far from being a hidebound institution as the report intimates, nursing has been taking on more and more responsibilities from junior doctors, is sharing multi-disciplinary education and training with doctors and therapists, and is in close partnership with GPs as primary care takes on increasing responsibilities from hospitals.

Nurses are very pragmatic about change: if it looks like it will benefit patients they will support it. If it is filled with inconsistencies and would damage the quality of care they give to patients they will oppose it.

CHRISTINE HANCOCK

General Secretary

Royal College of Nursing

London, W1

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