I am delighted that a recent letter of mine was published in the Nursing Times. This is what it said:

I was delighted to read Karen Lamb’s comments, ‘Starting Out’ (31 October – 6 November 2006), that “in the real world” of private hospitals, evidence based practice is not just encouraged but it is actively embraced, good hygiene practice is “carried out regimentally” – and where “a new treatment is introduced nurses are encouraged to research the treatment and condition”. Pointing out that the nurse-patient ratio is 1:3 in a private hospital compared with 1:8 in the NHS, Karen is right to conclude that working in the private hospitals sector has “restored [her] faith in the nursing profession”.

Today, nurses are increasingly recognising that nationalised healthcare is not only disasterous for their professional standards but it is catastrophic for patients. This is why Nurses for Reform believe (NFR) it is no longer acceptable for nurses to sign up to careers in public sector healthcare only to find they are unable to access the resources and autonomy they need to do their work. NFR rejects bland egalitarianism in favour of contestability. Above all else we believe that greater partnership with the private sector is to be actively welcomed and that this sector’s contributions are good news for patients and healthcare professionals alike.

NFR believes in fundamental change. It believes that only by putting patients and consumers interests’ first will healthcare improve. It is only when healthcare is opened up to real consumers and trusted brands that nurses will find themselves working in a sustainable environment and with the incentives, resources and encouragement to deliver a responsive, popular and truly high quality service.