Update on developments and RCN activity
Over the last year the RCN has been very active in taking forward work on TTIP to ensure that the principles in our position statement can be met.
Our activity has included the development of more online resources for members to explain the relevance of TTIP for the RCN. These have included audio guides4 and explanatory texts to ensure members are well informed about TTIP developments.
The RCN has also been influential in shaping the position statements on TTIP of those European organisations that we are members of. These have included the European Federation of Nurse Association TTIP position statement5 which mirrors many of the issues that the RCN has concerns about. The RCN has also contributed to the ongoing work of the European Public Health Alliance6, which has sought to emphasise the public health dimension of TTIP. They have highlighted the risk of regulatory freeze for future progressive public health policy such as plain packaging of cigarettes and have led calls for a health impact assessment of TTIP, issues that the RCN strongly supports.
The level of concern amongst RCN members has been reflected in the level of support for RCN activity on TTIP. Many members attended an RCN organised seminar in March where they were able to hear from MEPs from a range of political parties about TTIP, as well as from health stakeholders. The seminar also identified a series of ways in which members can champion the position of the RCN on TTIP and highlight the concerns that members have.
As well as updating its members through internal publications, the RCN has also engaged in external communication activity, with articles on the RCN concerns on TTIP appearing in both the national and trade press as well as articles appearing in pamphlets produced by both the Green Party and Plaid Cymru.
Finally the RCN has taken forward a comprehensive engagement strategy, in all 4 countries, with members being encouraged to contact MEPs and Ministers to set out the RCN position on TTIP. The RCN has also met with a number of MEPs across the UK so they can hear first-hand about the concerns raised on TTIP and hear about the strength of feeling amongst our members and their fears about the potential impact of TTIP on health services and the NHS.