Nurse slams Lansley for ‘gutless’ act

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A NURSE from Sheffield has spoken out at a national conference criticising Health Secretary Andrew Lansley for not having the ‘guts’ to address the congress.

Julian Newell, an accident and emergency nurse in the city, was speaking at the Royal College of Nursing conference in Liverpool after it was revealed Mr Lansley would hold only a 45-minute question and answer session with 60 nurses yesterday, rather than addressing the whole event.

It was organised as part of the Government’s ‘listening exercise’ on controversial NHS reforms that would see primary care trusts scrapped and their responsibilities passed to GP consortium.

Mr Newell said: “I think it was a shame Andrew Lansley did not have the guts to come up and face congress as a whole.”

Nurses have also passed a motion of no confidence in the health secretary, with 96 per cent of 497 delegates backing a motion questioning his handling of the reforms.

The Government is now using a pause in the passage of the Health and Social Care Bill to hear concerns, and Mr Lansley said he would be listening to the nurses to find out how the legislation could be improved.