Well who'd have thought it, the RCN has voted against the government at their conference today?
The 'college' that represents nurses? That's the one, but really it's a trade union that masquerades as the peoples' defender of the glorious NHS. In reality it's one of the most self-obsessed, self-interested bodies in the country, interested not in patients or the NHS but in preserving the position, pay and image of it's members.
Lots of nurses do a great job but like in any walk of life there are bad ones. In the last few years every experience I or anybody I know has had with the NHS has been bad, usually because of poor nursing rather than poor doctors. My mother-in-law is housebound because of neglect by nurses in hospital to cite but one personal experience.
The RCN hides behind people's unthinking obsession that the NHS is perfect and all who work in it are angels, perfect and selfless compared to us mere mortals. What the RCN really voted for today was an attack on the government not because of the rights and wrongs of NHS reform, but to protect their positions and salaries.
The sooner the RCN is seen as the trade union dinosaur it is by the general public, the sooner the serious debate about solutions to the shortcomings of the NHS can begin. I look forward to the day the RCN is history, just as the NUM is today.