Nurses gathered at the Royal College of Nursing's (RCN) annual congress in Liverpool today to listen to proposals for the future - including the Scottish government's Nursing Scotland's Future plan.

The strategy, which seeks to take a person-centred approach to providing safe and effective patient care, has been hotly debated due to concerns about how it can be delivered in the economic downturn.

Nurses came from across Scotland to listen to the debate on the plan, which involved Scotland's chief nursing officer, Ros Moore and nurse director Angela Wallace.

Commenting on the meeting, RCN Scotland director, Theresa Fyffe, said: "It was reassuring to hear of the Scottish Government's commitment to this strategy, but I would urge them to think carefully about the impact of workforce changes and service redesign on quality. As part of Nursing Scotland's Future, our campaign for the Scottish elections, we want a commitment from whoever forms the next Government that they will ensure health boards make use of nursing workforce planning tools.

"The demand on nurses is ever increasing and this is not helped by health boards using unsustainable tactics such as freezing posts and not replacing staff when they leave - this goes against the workforce changes which are agreed between employers and trade unions. Nurses are committed to providing safe and dignified care for patients and the Scottish Government needs to get a clearer picture of what is happening on the ground, not just at a strategic level."

Posted by Robert Mair on 12.4.11 Comment on this article by sending it to: penny.hosie@pavpub.com