From the South Lakes to South Cheshire and from Chester to the Pennines, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) in the North West represents almost 50,000 members, making us the third largest region of the RCN in terms of membership numbers.
Our world is constantly changing. Health care delivery in the UK is undergoing massive reorganisation, and even within the RCN we are facing the challenge of change, as we seek to revitalise our branches and to integrate our activities as a professional trade union.
Against this background it is important we are open and transparent about what we are doing for members; and members can play an active part in influencing those changes that affect them.
That's why this website is key in communicating with members and the public. You can find all you need to know about the RCN team in the regional office in Bolton, as well as your regional board and your local RCN branch. You'll also find up to date local and regional news, information about events, as well as matters of interest to you as both a professional and employee.
University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust
The RCN is very concerned by proposals set out by the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMB) in its Cost Improvement Programme (CiP) which could mean the loss of some 100 beds and up to 170 nursing and midwifery staff. UHMB says that its needs to save some £30m of cost savings and has launched a formal 45-day consultation with staff over a series of far-reaching spending cuts that could see up to 260 posts in total lost.
In response to CiP consultation, the RCN issued a public statement in which we said: “Back in March, the RCN highlighted that the Trust was struggling to cope with fewer resources, an aging population and rising demand. It is just impossible to see how the Trust can save £30m from its budget and cut 260 posts – or 10% of the workforce - without damaging patient care. These cuts will heap even greater pressure onto already overstretched staff, who have very genuine worries for the future of patient safety and quality of care. The RCN will be looking very closely at the detail of these plans and will be asking for a full risk assessment. But, it is very unclear exactly how the Trust can reduce the number of beds and the length of patient stay without centralising services and treating people much further from their home. The RCN will be making a very robust response to the Trusts consultation”.
The RCN has arranged a series of special workplace surgeries for members to provide up-to date information on the consultation, answer questions and get your views on the trusts proposals. These will be held on:-
• Tuesday 14 May: Royal Lancaster Infirmary. From 12 noon to 8pm in the Trade Union office.
• Tuesday 14 May: Westmorland General Hospital. From 4pm to 8pm in the Library.
• Thursday 23 May: Furness General Hospital. From 10am to 2pm in the Teaching Room 2, level 2 Education Centre
This is a really important opportunity to find out more about the trusts' proposals - so please do try to come along.
Help celebrate Nurses Day on 12 May by coming along to one of a number of events taking place in the North West.
Nurses' Day marks the anniversary of the birth of Florence Nighingale and is an opportunity to celebrate what's great about the nursing profession, share experiences and take time to reflect on all that nurses achieve. Tell us what Nurses Day means to you and share your story.
RCN Bulletin Jobs Fair
RCN North West members are invited to attend the RCN Bulletin Jobs Fair at Old Trafford football ground, Manchester; 3 to 4 July 2013. The event will be the largest nursing recruitment event to take place in the North of England. A cross-section of exhibitors will be attending, and there wil be a free-to-attend seminar programme. Find out more.
North West Regional Board
The North West Regional Board plays an important role advising and supporting the regional director on matters of interest to the RCN across the region. Board members are elected to represent the regional membership. Find out more about its work and download minutes from previous meetings.
Members and activists are always welcome to come along to Board meetings as observers. If you would like to attend or get more details then please contact Jill Lloyd, email firstname.lastname@example.org
RCN North West Region in the news
- Fears over proposals to cut £30m costs at hospitals (26 April 2013). The Lancashire Evening Post reports on plans by the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust to axe 260 posts and make £30m of cuts.
- Nursing jobs at risk (26 April 2013). The Lancaster Guardian reports on cost savings proposals by the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust.
- Cuts will put more pressure on Barrow hospital staff (24 April 2013). The North West Mail reports on cost savings proposals by the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust.
- 11th hour U-turn on maternity (4 February 2013). The Westmorland Gazette reports on proposals to temporarily close the maternity unit at Furness hospital and transfer services to the Royal Lancaster hospital. The RCN is quoted. The RCN was also interviewed by BBC North West Tonight (1 February 2013); BBC Radio Lancaster (1 and 5 February 2013) and BBC Radio Cumbria (1 February 2013).
- 600 posts at risk at the Royal Liverpool hospital (31 January 2013). The Liverpool Daily Post reports on plans by the hospital to lose up to 600 jobs or around 10% of the hospital’s workforce over the next five years. The RCN is quoted.
- Bosses at Liverpool's Royal told to rethink jobs cut plan (30 January 2013). The Liverpool Echo reports on plans by the hospital to lose up to 600 jobs or around 10% of the hospital’s workforce over the next five years. The RCN is quoted.
- Hospital death rates 'higher than expected' (25 January 2013). The Lancashire Telegraph reports that mortality rates for patients treated at East Lancashire hospitals are higher than expected for the second year running. The RCN is quoted.
- Unions in lunchtime protest over 500 NHS jobs cut plan (23 January 2013). The Bolton News reports on protests over proposals to cut 500 posts at the Bolton NHS Foundation Trust. The RCN is quoted.
RCN North West is committed to providing members with a first class service as we seek to deliver the RCN's mission of 'representing nurses and nursing, promoting excellence in practice and shaping health policy'.
I trust you find the North West section useful. And don't forget to let us have your views about our service by emailing our office on: email@example.com.
North West Regional Director