The prime minister’s Nursing and Care Quality Forum will focus on four themes, including “values and culture”, it has emerged.
Deputy chief nursing officer for England David Foster outlined the four areas at a nursing workforce conference held last week in London. The themes are: “People first”, “values and culture”, “time to care” and “leadership”.
Mr Foster told delegates at the Reshaping the Nursing Workforce conference that the first two topics were also likely to be covered by recommendations from the final report of the Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust public inquiry, which is expected at the end of May or early June.
He added: “It’s really important to recognise that places like [Mid Staffordshire] can be rehabilitated and improved over time, but it does require strong leadership from the top, at board level.”
Mr Foster also stressed the need for better leadership at ward sister level and said this needed to be prioritised by boards. But he rejected the argument that nurses were not caring for patients properly because they were too well educated.
Launching the forum last month, David Cameron said he wanted the NHS Institute’s productive ward initiative to be rolled out nationally, alongside a “red-tape challenge” to identify barriers to preventing nurses from doing their job properly and remove them.
In addition, hourly nursing rounds would be systematically implemented and the “NHS Safety Thermometer” tool would be introduced to track four key standards of safety and nursing quality – pressure ulcers, falls, blood clots and catheter-acquired urinary tract infections.
Meanwhile, the Department of Health confirmed it had delayed the first meeting of the forum, which was due to take place last Friday but was cancelled at late notice.
The DH said it was because the membership of the group had not been finalised – a reason for this has not been given. The DH now hopes to hold the first meeting in mid March.