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“All of us need to embed the 6Cs in everything we do”


Our new three-year plan, Compassion in Practice, sets out our values underpinning excellence for nurses, midwives and care staff as the 6Cs.

It also sets out six areas for actions, which are priorities for achieving better care and better health outcomes.

The 6Cs, which are care, compassion, competence, communication, courage and commitment, are a statement of the constants of nursing and midwifery for a modern health and care system.

The six action areas identified to implement the plan are: helping people to stay independent by maximising wellbeing and improving health outcomes; working with people to provide a positive experience of care; delivering high-quality care and measuring its impact; building and strengthening leadership; ensuring we have the right staff, with the right skills, in the right place; and supporting positive staff experience.

The vision and strategy recognises the importance of public health. We all have key roles in preventing ill health and promoting good health and wellbeing, including health protection, health promotion and early intervention. This starts at the very beginning to give our children the best start and continues throughout life.

As well as supporting specialist public health nurses and midwives, our aim is to maximise the contribution of all nurses, midwives and carers to improve public health by making every contact count for health and wellbeing.

The values and action areas apply to all areas of practice, and working with patients, professionals and professional bodies we have published a number of “strategy on a page” visuals showing compassion in practice in areas including practice nursing, public health nursing for children and young people, public mental health nursing and dementia care.

The next steps to implement and deliver the vision begin now. To achieve the greatest impact, all of us need to embed the 6Cs in everything we do. Leaders need to ensure that there is strong support from local organisations and national bodies.

We will continue to work collaboratively with key stakeholders and partner organisations to share good practice and ensure everyone has an opportunity to contribute to the achievement of the vision. We will also work closely with frontline staff to understand the barriers that we need to address and overcome, so this vision reaches the heart of every setting and makes a positive and sustained difference to the people we care for.

Some of the actions are subject to piloting, further testing and appraisal, after which further recommendations will be considered. Many of you contributed to the consultation and your views and suggestions will be further reflected as we produce implementation plans for the action areas set out here. The full implementation plans for this vision and strategy will be available by 31 March 2013.

● Visit my blog for more information

Viv Bennett is director of nursing at the Department of Health


Readers' comments (27)

  • What an absolute load of baloney! Total and utter garbage!

    When will these so called "Nurse Leaders" learn ?

    Inadequate RN staffing levels lead directly to poor outcomes !

    Replacing RN's with care assistants will guarantee dreadful and sometimes fatal outcomes! ( Ref. Stafford and others !)

    I am tired of these nonsense inititives which are no more than a smoke screen to disguise the continuing assault on Registered Nurse staffing levels !

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  • 'nonsense initiatives' which waste everybody's time and money. imagine all the time spent dreaming all of these up instead of facing the real problems and dealing with them.

    you can measure/count and evaluate real nurses and resources. How do you measure the presence of 'C's?

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  • hopefully there will be a set of tick boxes to remind us to use the six Cs and the six action areas all the time.

    as for visions, be careful some have been carted away and locked away on psychiatric wards or burned at the stake for such!

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  • just imagine waltzing down the ward singing 'I had a dream' and 'I believe in angels' etc.!

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  • I REALLY want this Bennet woman to get out of her office! She needs a dose of reality.

    She needs to come and take charge of my medical ward for a week (She wont survive a week!) However she might manage to survive a shift during which she can demonstrate her Cs&Es whilst setting priorities, making sure the demented patients dont harm themselves or others and ensuring all the medication (including the IVs) is given safely and on time ! Damn I forgot --- no patients must be starved or dehydrated ! -----

    Today there are ony eight patients who need "help" with their nutrition/hydration ! I suspect superwoman has a method incorporating all the "Cs" which ensures they will all be fed at the same time !

    Bennet (Wonderwoman) will have 2 RNS and 3 (super. marvelous) care assistants and there will only be 28 patients ! At least until a manager "redeploys an RN to another busier more short staffed ward!

    Please stop giving succour to thes DH numpties and tell them about reality !

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  • It seems miraculous that the leaders of nursing have the powers to (believe they are able to) replace experienced mortal members of the nursing profession working in large and busy acute clinical areas delivering front line services to patients with a few beings possessed of the six 'Cs'. What is their magic formula?

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  • I had a vision...............oh dear, hallucinating again, perhaps you should go to the doctor.

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  • Would a mini-code of practice better replace the existing NMC code? It could just list the six 'C's with a little phrase by each one telling us how to apply them. It would be much briefer and simpler to remember.

    (tongue in cheek of course as I believe these values and many more are innate in the majority of nurses and where they are not, their registration and employment should be reconsidered).

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  • so deeply embedded they are sometimes invisible?

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  • "management is good common sense but common sense is less and less common"

    heard on WRS this am although information on the speaker has not yet been made available and I only heard part of the programme, so apologies for lack of reference.

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