Has the nursing profession lost its status? Lords debate on frontline nursing care examines the issues

02 December 2011

Have the findings of recent reports and inquiries damaged perceptions of the nursing profession?

Nurses endeavour to give an excellent service, however, nursing in general has lost its status in the eyes of the public, says Baroness Emerton. The House of Lords looked at why and searched for solutions in a debate on frontline nursing care, tabled by the former nurse, yesterday afternoon. Current and former healthcare professionals and administrators were among Members of the Lords taking part.

Former nurse, Baroness Emerton (Crossbench), President of the Florence Nightingale Foundation and Regional Director of Nursing for a Regional Health Authority (1985-91), who tabled and opened the debate, said:

'It is vital that the focus is not just on what education and training nurses and midwives should receive in their pre-registration courses. Equally important are the development of post-qualification training pathways for nursing, which are sadly not funded in the same way as our medical counterparts.'

Responding on behalf of the Government, Earl Howe (Conservative) said:

‘Technology moves on, medical knowledge is constantly advancing and the members of our nursing workforce will need to keep abreast of these changes. But one thing that we know will not change is the importance of the care that nurses deliver; and the key role that nurses can and do play in improving quality of care, patient outcomes and their experiences of care.’

Members of the Lords that took part

Baroness Warwick of Undercliffe (Labour), Viscount Bridgeman (Conservative), Baroness Browning (Conservative), Lord Young of Norwood (Labour), Lord Ribeiro (Conservative) and Baroness Masham of Ilton (Crossbench) also took part in the debate.

Further information

Members of the public can attend House of Lords debates and follow proceedings from the public gallery.

Image: iStockphoto

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