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Congress agenda focuses on challenges of NHS reform

The challenges nursing staff will face during NHS budget cuts and reform are high on the agenda for this year’s Congress.

Of the 26 resolutions and matters for discussion agreed for the event, eight tackle the controversial subjects of funding and pay cuts and how they will affect the public and RCN members.

Resolutions include opposing the current NHS pay cuts, monitoring the disproportionate effect funding cuts may have on vulnerable adults, and minimising the adverse impact on public and staff safety. Other items look at planned changes to the structure of the NHS, including a resolution stating that Congress does not believe the changes to commissioning arrangements outlined in the recent NHS White Paper will best serve patients, health care or the NHS in England and those living near its borders.

Achieving equal access to health care services for those in care homes will be discussed, as will the introduction of an annual physical and psychological assessment for all nursing staff. The changing role of community mental health nurses will also be debated.

Other areas covered in the agenda include: reducing the cost of prescribed medication and unnecessary wastage, accrediting nursing experience and skills; whether social networking sites are good for nursing and ways to tackle the re-emergence of diseases such as tuberculosis. View the full list of agenda items.

Time has been set aside at Congress for emergency agenda items, which can be submitted by members right up to the end of the conference. This will ensure that Congress can stay on top of the current fast-moving political situation.