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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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  • Anonymous | 12-Jan-2013 10:17 am

    not sure how useful visions are and they certainly do not come to all. Many must be just delusions and make believe - call the doctor!

    I suppose one could argue the likes of Gates, Branson, Jobs, etc. must have had them. It would be wonderful if someone could have one such as these guys did for the NHS. Maybe Bevan did.

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  • the nurse who took the baby reindeer into hospital for the sick children at christmas showed us all the 6 c's and what was the result.............

    negative publicity
    headline news
    internal enquiry

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  • how about compiling a list of 'S's relating to good service to add to the six 'C's

    such as

    Small Talk
    ....., etc.

    Useful in reception areas and on admitting patients as first impressions and how they are received can make a huge and lasting difference to their overall impression of the NHS and the care they receive. It can even have a more positive effect on their treatment outcomes if they feel they are not being looked after in a hostile, unsafe, uncaring and impersonal environment which, according to the media and their comments, sadly so many seem to.

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  • The 6 Cs are important but without the right staffing levels it will never be achieved.

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  • Anonymous | 13-Jan-2013 2:28 pm

    It just makes it worse for the majority of nurses who already have them because they are made powerless to deliver.

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  • You can have more "C's" than I can shake a stick at but with 4 staff and 28 patients needing some form of intervention at the same time, there is no way to deliver the "C's" to all of them at once! Staff and time are all that's needed to fix the situation. Time for mentoring and improving practice by passing on skills - who else remembers "teach-in's" for students in that valuable afternoon crossover period when there were a few extra staff? Time for junior nurses to join the ward round to learn from the specialists? To follow the patient journey and observe in theatre? Training of the next generation of nurses by people who have the skills and willingness to undertake the role - clinical tutors and ward staff with the ability to teach, rather than those who may be excellent clinical nurses but less skilled in passing on their knowledge, and doing it under duress? All these comments, as well as the latest news, state "understaffing" as the root of problems. We have been bringing it to our managers' attention but when is something going to be done?

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  • Why oh why can we not have someone with a nursing background to manage nursing, these people who have the role now are not in the real world, they would never survive with no lunch break, working beyond your shift,short staffed and multi tasking, this is a daily occurence for most of us, the NHS is surviving on our good will, how much longer can we go on like this ?

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  • "The 6 Cs" is another forgettable, garbage initiative that serves only to inflate the self importance of Nurse leaders - who in my opinion are very weak.

    I mention these initiatives to Doctors and they shake their heads in disbelief.

    It's high time we turn the tables and have nurse leaders with courage and commitment!

    We need them to lobby the Government for real change - ie enough trained staff per shift to provide all the care needed, protected time for mentors and compulsory regulation of HCSWs.

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  • Anonymous | 14-Jan-2013 7:54 am

    You have a fully fledged "nurse", "managing" nursing at the DH!

    The fact that this woman is a deluded idiot with a complete inability to recognise the reality of nursing at the front line on wards, ICU's and A&E departments is irrelevant.

    You must be grateful for the wonderful professional support you receive from these moronic creatures who masquerade as nurses at the DH!

    You would not believe but the DH nurse clowns really do think the idiotic 6C strategy will resolve all the problems!

    Remember ! -- If the 6C nonsense fails it will be YOUR fault !

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  • "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."

    looks like you could sit at a desk hidden behind a mountain of papers crunching chips and chocolate all day whilst applying these six 'C's to the tasks in hand without even setting eyes on a patient.

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