This petition was submitted during the 2015–2017 Conservative government

Petition Keep the Nursing Directorate in the Department of Health

The Government is to scrap the nursing, midwifery and allied health professions policy unit.

Given that the Francis report (2013) suggested that nursing had a 'weak voice', and that profession’s voice to be strengthened, this move is counterintuitive.

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I have seen first hand the work that members of this unit do. Not only do they support projects that would otherwise not be recognised (for example, visiting/working with winners of the Molnlycke Wound Academy Scholarship and Awards programme), they provide impartial advice to the Government.

According to the government, advice will be given by Jane Cummings, chief nursing officer based in NHS England. With the bet will in the world, one person cannot undertake the work that a whole unit does.

This petition is closed This petition ran for 6 months

10,454 signatures

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Government responded

This response was given on 17 October 2016

The Government is absolutely committed to ensuring the voice of nursing, midwifery and AHPs is heard loud and clear in all of our policy making.

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As part of the DH 2020 plan, the Department is changing the way it works to deliver the Government’s key policy objectives. The Department’s approach will be to flexibly access professional advice from a wide range of sources, including Arms-Length Bodies, regulators, stakeholders and professional bodies, rather than from a fixed standing team of internal advisers.

The Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) for NHS England is the professional lead for nurses and midwives in England, and chief nursing adviser to the Department. She is responsible for patient safety and patient experience and for providing leadership for the nurses and midwives, and has access to a strong, specialist nursing team.

To ensure that the importance and profile of nursing and Allied Health Professional (AHPs) issues is maintained, the Department will included a post specifically on nursing and AHPs policy issues, including Parliamentary business, in its the new structure. This new post will be a close liaison point with the CNO and
Chief AHP Officer, with a remit to ensure DH is sighted on the totality of policy as it affects nurses and AHPs.

Department of Health