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'Seventh C stands for covering up the real issues, not CPD'


Minutes of the “What Are We Going To Do About Nursing?” Marketing Focus Group. Private and Confidential.

Gordon: Thank you for coming, help yourself to biscuits. We need to come up with something to sort of relaunch nursing that looks a bit modern, will facilitate the use of diagrams, is catchy and - easy on the Hobnobs, Bob - doesn’t cost anything.

Arabella: Are we thinking slogan or something a bit more visible… new hats?

Bob: Ohh, what about old hats? We want people to stop thinking about what nurses are like now: expensive, educated and, according to the polls, “not very nice to my nan”, and remember what they were like in 1952 - demure, starched, angelic. Give them pre-coronation hats and we’re sorted.

Flotilla: Can’t do it, Bob - infection control and not enough starch. Anyway, we need something that characterises the ideal nurse, the modern nurse, we need qualities, we need catchy…

Arabella: Have we considered rhyming?

Flotilla: Not with nursing it doesn’t; bursting, immersing, reversing, cursing….

Arabella: Well, it could be a word everyone associates with nursing like….

Bob: Tired, oppressed, poorly represented, embattled, varicose veined…. My mum was a nurse.

Gordon: Well, we have had this idea from the CNO’s office. She couldn’t be here today because we told her we were meeting somewhere else. The 6Cs they call it - care, compassion, communication… er care….

Bob: You’ve said that one.

Gordon: I know, er, care, compassion, communication….

Flotilla: Is consternation one?

Gordon: Its not on the list….

Bob: Why C? Why not K? We could have kindness if we went with K and knowledge.

Gordon: Yeah, but there aren’t 6 Ks, are there? Not unless you include killjoy, kickable, kitten-like and kinesis.

Flotilla: D! D is good. Delightfulness, Determination… er… Danceability….

Gordon: We’re wedded to C so we can say compassion and that feels quite important.

Arabella: Will saying that be enough?

Gordon: We hope so. Communication, care, courage, compassion… not custard….

Bob: I like E. Elegant, excitability, excellent, E-coli-fighting….

Arabella: What is this for, again, Gordon?

Gordon: There will be posters and lots of people in quite key positions are committed to saying at least four of the six Cs to each other at lots of meetings and conferences.

Bob: Will it actually help?

Gordon: Well, we’re going to call it a vision to start off with, so that doesn’t matter too much at this point.

Arabella: Who’s paying for the posters?

Gordon: Well, after the Francis report, I got a memo from the Department of Health. They feel they could focus most of the debate on things like inspections, management checks and systems and processes. When it filters down to people, you know, what happened to make good nurses become disengaged, they reckon there will be some righteous outrage, a bit of name-calling and that will be it. However, they did come up with £300 for posters and erm… biscuits.

Bob: Nothing for extra nurses or better CPD, then?

Arabella: Is CPD one of the 6 Cs?

Gordon: No,, I don’t believe it is.

Gordon: Then no, Bob, nothing for that.

Bob: CPD funding really would help….

Gordon: Courage, Bob, courage. It is cheaper than CPD, more vague. If people don’t show courage, we get to call them cowards, very First World War. Stop it with the CPD Bob. It’s the wrong kind of C.


Readers' comments (27)

  • michael stone

    My brain is very slow at present - I had to look up CPD to work out what it was standing for.

    My worry, is that an F might be involved (flannel, as in 'load of old') and an O (as on obfuscation).

    But I might be a bit cynical - the Francis report was really clear about where the problems that caused Mid Staffs rested, and it was essentially hierarchical structures, the people in the pyramid almost totally ignoring concerns and feedback from anyone lower down, and a general lack of openness about problems which were 'hidden in plain view'.

    It should, logically, lead to the 'culture change' Francis wants - but I'm still cynical !!!

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  • Did you say biscuits?

    don't tell Tinkerbell or s/he will be after you!

    Too right about the starch. the laundry cut back following the strike towards the end of the 70s, can't remember the exact date, and we had to go and raid the x-ray dept. for film which we scrubbed clean and cut into semi-circles to hold our hats up. thank goodness for nurses' resourcefulness (-:>

    As for the 'Six C's, maybe there is a 7th which says they are a Curse rather than a Vision.

    was Lansley's disproportionate bill at the DH for biscuits paid for before he left by the way?

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  • Tinkerbell

    of I'm so world weary of it all, this nursing malarkey. Nothing to do with the patients just the unrelenting, never ending, layers upon layers of old toot handed down to us to implement from those who have lost the plot or never had it in the first place. Mind boggling, mind blowing goobledygook with an MSc in how to send us all screaming for 'sanctuary'.

    I can no longer understand a word management speak.

    I have a far better understanding and connection with a dementia patient and they are supposedly severely cognitively impaired. At least they are emotionally honest.

    Who can blame me for wanting a 'C'ustard 'C'ream as a perk of the job.

    I'm not she/he or lady/boy.

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  • Dear Mr/Mrs Tinkerbell, Sir or Madam

    "...never ending, layers upon layers of old toot handed down to us to implement from those who have lost the plot or never had it in the first place."

    why don't you leave them to do their own work and just do yours. I am sure nursing patients with dementia gives you more than enough to do.

    IJust put your foot down, tell them what you are doing and where your duties lie and end, and say a very emphatic NO. Alternatively offer to do their work for them on condition that they come and give you a hand with yours. that should soon shut them up and sort them out.

    Qualified mental health personnel are supposed to be expert at negotiating, setting limits and showing people where the barriers lie between self and others and how not to cross them!

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  • michael stone

    tinkerbell | 23-Feb-2013 5:44 pm

    Tink, I can't remember if it is one of the 6 Cs - but you mentioned 'connection', and Connection should be in there !

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  • DH Agent - as if ! | 24-Feb-2013 12:39 pm

    connection is very relevant but isn't this included in communication which is also connection.

    if we add too many more Cs to the list they will probably forget them all!

    Besides they wouldn't all fit onto the credit sized cards being issued and these have to be able to fit into uniform pockets so that nurses have a constant reminder just in case they forget!

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  • Tinkerbell

    DH Agent - as if ! | 24-Feb-2013 12:39 pm

    No i cannot take credit for adding 'connection' although vitally important.

    My only additions were custard creams and cucumber.

    Not that i think the 6 'c' thingy is unimportant, it is vital, but i think most good nurses already have these without having to have them spelled out. It just happens. We do not need another check list.

    I understand that this is a way to reinforce what nursing values are about and how important it is to enter nursing with the right values and attitudes but some more practical support at this late hour might be required to help us all. A vision is one thing having the tools to do the job properly is another. The tools to do the job properly are feet on the ground not a pocketful of visions and fairy dust.

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  • Tinkerbell

    careful what you say or we might not get our free credit cards to put in our pockets to replace our fallible memories!

    joking apart you are totally correct in what you say.

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  • Like the new picture Mark, not entirely sure if immersing and nursing rhyme though!

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  • Tinkerbell

    and the biggest C of all CORRUPTION!

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