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Alan Johnson presents the RCN Northern Ireland Annual Lecture

15 Jan 2015

Rt Hon Alan Johnson MP delivered the Annual RCN Lecture for Northern Ireland to an invited audience of RCN members and stakeholders in Belfast on Wednesday 14 January.

Introduced by RCN Northern Ireland Director Janice Smyth, Mr Johnson’s theme was The NHS at 66 and a half. The audience included Health Minister Jim Wells, DHSSPS Permanent Secretary Richard Pengelly, Chief Nursing Officer Charlotte McArdle and Chief Medical Officer Michael McBride.

BBC Northern Ireland reported on the event and interviewed Mr Johnson on the issues addressed in his lecture.

He told the BBC: "No-one ever won an election by closing their local hospital. That’s the reality of political life, I guess. I think that if we had a political consensus to leave the clinicians to make their decisions - yes, you’re accountable for it but clinicians have to put their head above the parapet and explain why that’s important for patient care - people would understand that and politicians would be admired for having the courage."