Health Secretary Andrew Lansley has moved to quickly to downgrade nurses’ standing in England to troublemaking harridans after the Royal College of Nursing and the Royal College of Midwives stated their “outright opposition” to the government’s NHS plans in England.
The colleges’ stance comes after a similar move by the British Medical Association was described by Mr Lansley as “a bunch of know-nothing doctors talking out of their fancy la-di-da medical arses.”
The Health and Social Care Bill, which is still working its way through Parliament, could be stopped if the Lib Dems block it when it returns to the Commons – but that is considered about as likely as Stephen Hawking winning Celebrity Wipeout.
Speaking on BBC Breakfast, Mr Lansley insisted that people who think they know what they’re talking about, in actual fact, don’t know what they’re talking about.
“People that work in the NHS don’t realise what it’s like to work in the NHS,” he said.
“It’s important when making vital decisions on the future of the NHS that we completely ignore the views of people that do understand it because it’s abundantly clear that they simply don’t understand it.”
Lansley criticises nurses
Peter Carter, general secretary of the RCN, which represents 410,000 nurses, midwives, support workers and students, said: “The turmoil of proceeding with these reforms is greater than the turmoil of stopping them.”
A Department of Health spokesman hit back at the claims by dismissing them as “a load of old nursey ballbags”.
“We will continue to ignore nurses and all other health professionals to ensure that the government delivers the best possible service for the private sector….I mean patients,” he added.