All NHS staff – not just nurses and midwives – have been told they must “embrace” the values of patient care set out in the national nursing strategy for England.
Known as the “6Cs”, the values are care, compassion, competence, communication, courage and commitment.
They are the centre point of the Compassion in Practice strategy unveiled earlier this month by NHS Commissioning Board chief nursing officer Jane Cummings and Department of Health director of nursing professor Viv Bennett.
Latest operating instructions for the NHS, published today by the NHS Commissioning Board, state that “all staff” should comply with the 6Cs as well as nurses and midwives.
The board’s first set of planning guidance – called Everyone Counts: Planning for Patients 2013-14 – will apply from April when the body takes over responsibility for the day-to-day running of the NHS from the Department of Health.
It said the national nursing strategy “sets out a new approach to improving our culture of compassionate care and in particular the actions necessary to maximise the role and expertise of nurses, midwives and care staff to deliver improved patient outcomes”.
But it added: “As well as nurses, midwives and care staff, we expect all staff, including doctors, managers and support staff to embrace these values.”
Applying the 6Cs beyond nursing staff was discussed at the CNO Conference in Manchester where the nursing strategy was unveiled. However, although supported by some, others at the conference argued that the idea might dilute the nursing strategy.
The commissioning board’s guidance also includes a new interpretation of the famous adage that the NHS should provide care “from the cradle to the grave”.
It states: “We all want to see the highest standards of care, from childbirth where women should have choice and personalised care through children’s services and adulthood to the end of people’s lives.”