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Ann Keen and Christine Beasley defend nursing pledge


Health minister Ann Keen has defended the pledge that nurses will be asked to take following the report of the Prime Minister’s Commission on the Future of Nursing and Midwifery in England.

Nurses and midwives will be required to sign up to the six-point pledge that includes a promise to take responsibility for the “quality of care, service and outcomes for every service user in their care”.

Speaking to Nursing Times at 10 Downing Street, at the launch of the commission’s report, Ms Keen, who chaired the commission, promised that the pledge would not isolate nurses.

“Nurses will be taking responsibility, but they won’t be taking it alone”, she said.

“Employers and boards will also be expected to live up to their side of the bargain and pledging to take responsibility for the quality of care with us”.

Chief Nursing Officer Dame Christine Beasley also backed the pledge, telling Nursing Times: “We are a big workforce and nurses are often how people experience their care in the NHS. Nurses are the touchstone in many ways, but we will need to be backed up, up to board level.”

Patients Association director Katherine Murphy said: “Whilst the pledge is a good first step, ensuring every nurse and midwife lives up to it, and more importantly, is allowed to live up to it, is the only outcome patients are interested in”.


Readers' comments (7)

  • Well of course they would, wouldn't they?
    What are the consequences if we don't sign up to it? What a load of rubbish....every thing I read lately leads me to realise I have to get out of this stupid arena. I became a nurse to do a job of work. Yes, I have desire to help people, but it is not my life's cause to save the population by pledges and acting as a role model. What I choose to do in my own time is my business as long as I do the job I am paid to do...I say leave me the hell alone!!!

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  • Oh dear - what next, sometimes I really do despair !

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  • First there was "modern matron", then suddenly there were other matrons, - 'modern matrons', 'community matrons', there may even be a 'tea & biscuits matron' somewhere. Then we got 'specialist nurses' - who are great in their arena of expertise & I believe have made a great deal of difference in community care; HOWEVER now these 'specialists' are becoming generic (ie no longer specialist!!!!). The powers that be need to take a long hard look!

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  • I agree with all the above comments.In order to be employed I, like every working nurse, pay an annual fee to belong to a professional body and in doing so subscribe to its code of conduct surely this pledge is superflulous when we have already made that agreement. When I hear the word "promise" spoken by politicians why does my heart sink? and where are the nursing unions voices in this?.
    I have never been moved to comment like this before.

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  • It still makes me glad that I left the UK.
    sittting here in Australia working in a well run public hospital with decent pay.

    We, as nurses, have the public trust and respect overall, part of the reason for this is we dont do everything election hungry governments demand

    If you cant stand up for yourselves and do something about the despair i read in the comments on here then how can you stand up for your patients?

    anon don't leave the profession come to Australia, we look after our patients and ourselves here

    Maybe i'll see some of you soon

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  • I think i'm going to leave nursing. It seems like a bad career choice. I have no faith in management, no faith in govt. Working conditions are worsening and the govt is trying to portray us as uncaring to get the monkey off their back! Typical low-life politicians.

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  • Phil Dup

    Google 'Ann Keen expenses '

    Then know we can never trust ANYTHING that comes from the mouth of this ex nurse.

    She is a disgrace.

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