A detailed programme of actions designed to make the “6Cs” a reality across the NHS has been unveiled by England’s chief nurse.
The new national nursing strategy, Compassion in Practice, was launched in December by NHS Commissioning Board chief nursing officer Jane Cummings and director of nursing at the Department of Health Viv Bennett.
It is centred on the six key values they believe should be at the heart of nursing – care, compassion, competence, communication, courage and commitment.
The implementation plan, revealed by Ms Cummings last week, includes national projects to transform nursing at every level of the health service with local plans for hospital trusts and individual actions for staff to change their behaviours.
- Establishing a forum for directors of nursing to co-ordinate professional leadership;
- Improving feedback from patients, particularly vulnerable groups;
- Ensuring patients are allocated a named nurse or midwife to coordinate their care;
- Roll-out of a cultural barometer to assess the working environment on hospital wards;
- Development of metrics to measure compassionate care;
- Establishing a national scheme to recognise excellence in implementing the 6Cs.
Ms Cummings said a key aim of the implementation plan was to demonstrate the impact staff experience has on patient experience and the standard of care delivered on hospital wards and in community settings.
“We know the evidence for the link between positive staff experience and patient experience; we need to be able to measure staff experience and act on it,” she added.
Ms Cummings also revealed the patient safety thermometer, which is used in NHS trusts across the country to measure avoidable harm such as pressure ulcers and falls, could be modified to allow nurses access to “real-time” information so they can “make a change and respond”.
As reported by Nursing Times last year, there will also be work to develop evidence based staffing levels, with trust boards urged to sign them off and publish them every six months.
Locally, hospital trusts will be urged to analyse their culture and make the results public, improve the leadership at ward level, assess the impact on quality of care when changing how staff are deployed and improve appraisals for staff to incorporate the six C’s into the process.
Ms Cummings added: “We have a massive opportunity to make a real difference and be able to tell people about the good work that goes on but the fact people still get poor care means we have a lot still to do.
“These are the six areas we talked about in December. We have detailed plans that sit below each of them with an agreed action and a lead person to deliver that.”
A summary of the implementation plan was unveiled at the Healthcare Innovation Expo event in London but Ms Cummings said more detail would be published following the government’s response to the Francis report, expected next week.
She noted there was a lot of overlap between the issues covered by the strategy and the Francis report into the scandal at Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust.
“The actions set out in this vision and strategy, will change the way we work, transform the care of our patients and ensure we deliver our culture of compassionate care,” she said.
The implementation plans are available on the NHS Commissioning Board website at www.commissioningboard.nhs.uk