Pledge to restore public trust in nursing
The Prime Minister’s Commission on the Future of Nursing and Midwifery will ask all nurses to make a pledge underlining their commitment to high quality care, their engagement with health service improvement and their professional accountability.
The pledge is intended to complement the Nursing and Midwifery code of practice and help embed the values of the NHS Constitution. It is the commission’s attempt to write a “new story” about nursing that will restore public trust in a profession rocked by examples of poor care in recent years.
It calls on nurses to renew their commitment to the public and patients and by doing so reverse the perception of nurses as “passive”, undervalued, “poorly educated handmaidens” subordinate to doctors.
The pledge is one of a series of the commission’s draft recommendations seen by Nursing Times.
The prime minister set up the commission in March last year to investigate how advances in nurses’ role could be enhanced and to explore public attitudes to nursing. Its final report is due to be published next month.
The pledge will involve all nurses undertaking to “speak out and act” when care falls below agreed standards and to “engage more directly” with health policy making and financial decisions.
It follows concerns expressed to the commissioners that nurses were regarded as “passive implementers” of policy, rather than actively engaged in its making.
It will also require them to promise to adopt healthy lifestyles to become “role models” for the rest of society.