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National nursing strategy set for launch

The new national strategy for nursing in England is due to be launched later today at a conference of senior nurses.

The strategy has been drawn up by NHS Commissioning Board chief nursing officer Jane Cummings and Viv Bennett, the Department of Health’s director of nursing.

Ms Cummings set out her “vision” for the strategy to Nursing Times readers in the summer with draft proposals published for consultation several months later.

The final version of the strategy will be launched at the annual CNO’s Conference in Manchester. The theme of the two-day meeting was “Our Culture of Compassionate Care”.

At the heart of the strategy is a list of fundamental values and behaviours that Ms Cummings and Professor Bennett believe should underpin nursing:  care, compassion, competence, communication and courage and commitment.

These “six Cs” are accompanied by six “areas of action”. A “credit card” sized reminder setting out both has been developed for nurses (see attached pdf, right). 

Visit or follow us on Twitter for breaking news on the final version of the strategy and live reporting from the conference.  

Watch @SteveJFord, @AnnNursingTimes and @nursingtimesed our twitter feeds from 1pm for the latest news from today’s #cno2012 conference.

Readers' comments (35)

  • I can think of anothert couple of C's... condescendingf claptrap. Whilst I agree that the 6 C's are some of the fundamental values that should underpin nursing, I feel that it is a shame that it is perceived that in order to instill these principles into the workforce they have to be provided with a credit card reminder that looks like its been designed by a 5 year old.

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  • Looks like the government and thier cronies and softening up the public with all these stories of wicked uncaring nurses in preparation for cuts to pay and conditions. Shame on them.

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  • Ha ha! That 'credit card' is hilarious! Rather than patronising nurses with this 'aid' to caring, why not give us some more qualified nurses so we're not having to care for 14 patients each per shift, and watch the quality of care increase. IT'S OBVIOUS!!!!!!

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  • points 5 & 6 on the 'areas of action' on this credit card are very funny.

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  • michael stone

    Interesting - Jane was on Radio 4 this morning talking about this, and she was talking about the 6 Cs: the credit card is something different.

    I agree that points 5 and 6 on the credit card, are not currently under the control of nurses.

    And some of the Cs are problematic - one of the Cs involves 'challenging bad behaviour' and that isn't going to happen when nurses (and indeed many doctors) who challenge 'bad managerial diktats' are then persecuted and harassed, is it ?

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  • The first thing is that Ms Cummings deigned on Radio 4 this morning to apologies on behalf of all nurses - please remember that as professionals we are all responsible for our own practice and don't need unelected people of whom we have no previous knowledge apologising for us!

    Secondly the strategy originators need to be careful that it isn't perceived by the public as spin, born of a perceived necessity to respond to events. The use of alliteration, as if nurses need to have this shorthand for their professionalism, is condescending and indicative. Maybe the evolution of nursing should be led by people who have experience of whistle-blowing, making judgements about poor care and the challenges facing professionals in improving it, in the context of boards focused on achieving FT status, failures in clinical governance due to focus on process rather than experience and outcomes etc.

    I haven't studied the document in detail but senior nurses ought to focus on what is done well and how nurses stride against the tide to improve things, instead of making non-legitimised collective apologies.

    Good luck in her new role; gravitas and depth are appreciated.

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  • Why are we having this conversation? The powers that be have been trying to educate nursing staff for the last 30 years and failed because we already do it! again, we are being penalised for the minority. Its high time they educate the public and support the staff when the public are aggressive to us, abuse us, sexually harrass us, attend ED inappropriately, and threaten us with emotional blackmail. Sort that out and i'll be impressed. in the meantime, been there, done that, bored now.

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  • michael stone

    The first comment on there, which is discussing this topic, is shown below – ring any bells, anyone ?

    As a Consultant in a Hospital my thoughts are that there are just too few nurses on any ward, they dont have time to be compassionate when one is running round like a blue ***** fly. The introduction of untrained unregulated health care assistants is no substitute for nurses and I would bring back SENs who did the bulk of listening and caring and were trained and regulated and practical no degree

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  • My understanding is that we can't bring back SEN's because they were forced to give up those roles and convert to SRN's or HCA's - it would be a breach of something or other to bring them back. That's why there are moves to regulate HCA's now instead.

    The BBC Breakfast show (Bill) got it right when he said the words used were jargon.

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  • Alan Partridge much?

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  • Sum redditur stupefacti!

    is this service what we as the public are paying our taxes for? is this what we get after going through professional nurse training, achieving a higher degree and many long years of experience of working with patients.

    to whom will these cards be distributed? who will pay for them? will we be obliged to carry them in our pockets to consult regularly to remind us of our duties just in case we forget or are too busy to know what we are meant to be doing?

    maybe we could have an iPhone and Android app so that we can consult it regularly during the course of our work. I am sure patients wouldn't mind if we just stop every now and again to consult them on our smart phones. we could even call them smart cards!

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  • tinkerbell

    i imagine on the day when they sat around in a board room discussing these 6 'C's it went something like this

    'We want nurses to be compassionate'.

    Nods of agreement. What else do we want them to be. Few more words beginnng with the letter 'C'.

    All was going well until someone piped up
    'Cucumber', so they had to stop at 6.

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  • why stop there. There is an a vast list of 'C' words which could be considered assets (or otherwise) in nursing! These could be presented in the form of a little booklet to be carried in uniform pockets at all times as a strict reminder of what they should or should not be to all people at all times!


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  • 'Confidentiality' could be added to the list and a complimentary card offered to the nurse who answered the hoax phone call at the King Edward VII Hospital in London recently.

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  • from Anonymous | 6-Dec-2012 9:00 am

    'confident' should also be included in the list

    as well as confrontational, or maybe 'coyness' is preferable!

    ... and many more...

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  • 'caustic'

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  • tinkerbell


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  • tinkerbell

    At last, on Question Time tonight they discussed the NHS. Andy Burnham spoke up well and said 'the NHS can't stand 2 terms of this government'. I think he is being optimistic, i don't think it will survive this term of this government.

    How long has it taken the BBC to get a proper discussion on Question time that spent any time on the NHS. I have been watching Question Time intently since it came back on TV to see how often the NHS cropped up, not much air time at all. This made me wonder if the BBC are in
    cahoots with this government to 'cover up' the damage that is being done. They seem to have had a change of heart tonight. Maybe because they have their own agenda going on right now with their own scandals at BBC and their institutionalised cover ups.

    The panel were asked 'Are we all in this together?' OnlyMr Maud thought we were but then he's a tory. Delusional. They're either mad or bad.

    Andy Burnham also said that we have been told one of the biggest lies about what was going to happen to the NHS by this government.

    PFI was introduced by Labour but we are ina different situation now where it is being totally privatised, 49%now, but how much later on?

    We are in a dire situation and although i don't think that the torys will get re-elected for another term they will have achieved their aim, to destroy the NHS and make loadsa money out of others misery for a very long time to come as we may never get OUR NHS back once this government have achieved their aims.

    Best to get your private insurance in place now if you are still young enough and mostly healthy as private companies won't touch you if you have pre-existing conditions or complex needs unless you are very wealthy and can afford extortionate premiums.

    Any pension we may have when we retire will be needed for healthcare funding if you need it.

    The future for our society looks very gloomy indeed now that the torys have had their wicked way.

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  • tinkerbell | 6-Dec-2012 6:22 pm


    not clear whether you are referring to my 'C'omments, the project or the 'C'redit 'C'ard or all of these!

    I am 'C'urious ?

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  • tinkerbell

    Anonymous | 7-Dec-2012 8:31 am

    Of course not you. Just the whole way the nursing profession is heading, down the tubes, with one innovation following another innovation before we've even embarked on the first innovation. We have completely lost all focus on what it is we actually do, i am lost on the highway of and need a sat nav to navigate my way through this whole mess. I already have enough plastic cards in my wallet and would not be able to refer to yet another reminding me to be 'compassionate'. I'm doing it. Committed 'i am' and the rest. Most of us for. For the few uncaring, uncompassionate nurses who have entered into the wrong profession, deal with them, don't ask me to do what i/we are already doing, just get rid of those who are in the wrong profession,.

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