Recommendation 202

The importance of nursing representation at provider level

Recognition of the importance of nursing representation at provider level should be given by ensuring that adequate time is allowed for staff to undertake this role, and employers and unions must regularly review the adequacy of the arrangements in this regard.

Implementation is a matter for local employers and unions. The Royal College of Nursing, UNISON and NHS Employers have endorsed this recommendation and will work with providers and commissioners to try to ensure that this is built into workforce and financial planning.

We will explore further models to strengthen recognition of nursing representation with the Social Partnership Forum, which is a forum for employer and staff representatives.


The issues raised in Recommendation 202 – and the Government response – have been discussed in the Social Partnership Forum Francis Working Group.  The working group included representatives from trade unions, including the Royal College of Nursing, UNISON and NHS Employers. The group felt that professional representation, not just nursing, was important at all levels of partnership working. The working group recognised the value of partnership working in the drive to improve quality and patient safety and it asked the Regional Social Partnership Forums to identify examples of effective partnership working which will be promoted on the Social Partnership Forum website.

Although the group has now completed its work; it agreed that implementation and the development of further models would be best served locally by employers and unions.

Case studies of effective partnership working can be found online.