Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley, has questions to answer over discrepancies in the evidence he gave to the Health Select Committee yesterday in light of the statement from the Royal College of Nursing, says Committee Member Rosie Cooper.
At the Health Select Committee on Tuesday 11th October Mr Lansley said that he was “not aware” of downgrading of nurses positions being used as a way to save money in the NHS.
A statement from Janet Davies at the Royal College of Nursing has raised serious questions about the validity of Mr Lansley’s evidence. Ms Davies says ‘the Royal College of Nursing has raised the issue of downbanding with the Secretary of State on a number of occasions.’
West Lancashire MP, Rosie Cooper said:
“There seems to be two versions of events about whether the Secretary of State for Health knew that nurses were being downbanded but only one of them can be right.
“So the question for the Secretary of State is, did he or didn’t he know about rebanding of nurses in the NHS?”
“Anyone can make a mistake but I would have thought it would have been difficult to get it wrong when the Royal College of Nursing sat in front of you on several occasions telling you this is happening.”
“Mr Lansley has a responsibility to Parliament, the NHS and its hardworking staff to be explicitly clear and set the record straight, which is why I have called on him to give parliament the dates of the meetings with the RCN and publish the minutes.
“If he is wrong then a formal apology is the very least he should do to begin to put matters right, swiftly followed by a full statement about regrading, recruitment freezes and redundancies of nursing and NHS staff.
“Thousands of nurses up and down the country deserve a straight answer from the Health Secretary.”
“I would never accuse Mr Lansley of claiming to listen but not hearing what is said, which is terrifying when you consider all the assurances he has given about the Health & Social Care Bill.
“This episode shows just how out of touch he is, with the reality of working in the NHS today.”
Rosie has formally written to the Secretary of State for Health to get clarification on the conflicting recollection of events and asking if he wishes to amend his evidence to the Health Select Committee.