NFR believes 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. It rejects bland egalitarianism in favour of contestability. And it believes in people – not politics.

Above all else, NFR believes 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.

As front line practitioners, nurses know only too well that we have to find new and better ways of organising, delivering and funding healthcare. In an age of fast moving consumerism, people are no longer prepared to tolerate unresponsive, inefficient and uniform services. People want quality and they want to be in control. They want to be empowered with information and they want to be able to access health brands that they can trust.

Today, too many nursing trade unions and representative bodies fail nurses because they invariably stick to old and out dated agendas. Instead of championing substantive reform – and in doing so, championing the rights of consumers – they default to short term platitudes such as demanding more tax payers’ money or new forms of legislative favour. Such an approach is not only disasterous for nurses but it is catastrophic for patients.

In 1948, the British government promised: “The NHS will provide all medical, dental and nursing care. Everyone – rich or poor – can use it”. In many other European countries politicians made similar promises.

Yet, sixty years on from the end of the Second World War, Europe is a very different place and increasing numbers of people recognise the limitations of what the public sector can offer.

NFR believes in fundamental change and in telling the truth. 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 with the incentives, resources and encouragement to deliver a responsive, popular and truly high quality service.

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