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Introducing 'PREP and The NHS Plan'

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VOL: 98, ISSUE: 10, PAGE NO: 40

Sarah Mullally, chief nursing officer for England

If you were to ask nurses what they came into nursing for, most would probably say that it was to care for patients and improve their lives - to make a difference. Yet it's clear that in some areas of the health service even the basics of care such as safety, privacy and dignity, hygiene or nutrition can present quite a challenge.

If you were to ask nurses what they came into nursing for, most would probably say that it was to care for patients and improve their lives - to make a difference. Yet it's clear that in some areas of the health service even the basics of care such as safety, privacy and dignity, hygiene or nutrition can present quite a challenge.

So what is to be done? Sometimes the problems can seem so overwhelming and difficult that it is hard to know where to start. I have no doubt that there is an enormous amount each individual nurse can do to change our health service. I know that while patients and their carers appreciate the way they are cared for, often much of this work goes unrecognised. Yet without those small, individual changes that are part of the day-to-day care provided by nurses, the transformation of the health service at a national level cannot happen.

The 'PREP and The NHS Plan' series (see opposite) aims to highlight best practice and show how nurses can have an impact on patient care at every level. The four-part series will show how, individually or as part of a team, you can use your influence to change practice and improve care.

The starting point is The NHS Plan, which was published in July 2000. It is the government's vision of how the NHS can be transformed into a genuinely patient-centred service delivering top quality care. Building on that starting point The NHS Plan: an Action Guide for Nurses, Midwives and Health Visitors was sent to all registered practitioners a year ago. Now, the modernisation board has produced The NHS Plan - A Progress Report, which shows where we have got to so far.

Nursing Times' 'PREP and The NHS Plan' series shows how nurses have worked to make improvements in their everyday practice. Their work includes using the 'Essence of Care' to identify best practice in aspects of care that are fundamental to the quality of a patient's experience, with structured sharing of good practice to improve care.

Improving care means taking the lead in basic aspects of care. This series takes a fresh look at how you can take the lead and in doing so make a difference to patient care, and ultimately to patients' lives. The 'Personal Action Guide' with each part of the series shows you how to take the lead within your own practice. It can be added to your portfolio and offers a simple, easy-to-use means of developing your skills and fulfilling PREP requirements at the same time.

Through a range of case studies focusing on some of the main clinical themes within The NHS Plan, the series also documents the good practice that is already taking place around the country. Most importantly, this series is about appreciating and celebrating the value of what can be done on a day-to-day basis.

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