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The Royal College of Nursing has predicted that the NHS needs to ensure more senior nurses in Scotland, and to give them more rewarding salaries, or else risk lower quality care and an increase in cases of clinical negligence.

The call comes at a time when the NHS in Scotland is positioning itself to try to meet the particular challenges of providing seven-day NHS care, a situation which has, more than ever, made plain the need for more specialist nurses, more senior charge nurses and more advanced nurse practitioners.

The objectives can only be achieved, says the union, with better training that recognises the needs of both nurses and the patients they care for.

RCN Scotland director Theresa Fyffe said, "Last year, we published the nursing contribution to seven-day care, which sets out a series of nursing solutions and the contribution that nurses can - and should - make to achieve the Scottish Government's ambitions around the provision of seven day care," commented Theresa Fyffe, the Royal College of Nursing's Scotland director.

"As the biggest single workforce in the NHS, nurses are crucial to the successful delivery of seven-day care, particularly senior decision-making nurses such as senior charge nurses, specialist nurses and advanced nurse practitioners (ANPs)."

Fyffe reinforced her belief in the importance of having the right workforce in place so that the right healthcare workers are present to make the difficult and often complex clinical decisions to safeguard and improve patient care and outcomes.

The union's demands have clear relevance to efforts to reduce the medical negligence compensation burden on the NHS in Scotland.


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