The NHS Commissioning Board has published a three year plan for nursing called Compassion in Practice. It identifies six “areas of action”:
Helping people to stay independent, maximise well-being and improving health outcomes
Led by: David Foster, deputy chief nurse at the Department of Health
This area is focused on public health and social care and includes proposals to set up a network of nurses and other staff working in social care settings to share ideas about improving health and wellbeing.
It also recommends supporting midwives to take a bigger public health role and making better use of technology to help inform patients to make shared decisions. Nursing staff should use their skills at relationship building to “stimulate greater integration” of health and social care, it says.
Working with people to provide a positive experience of care
Led by: Liz Redfern, currently chief nurse NHS South of England
The friends and family test, which asks patients whether they would recommend the service they have received, is identified as the main driver for measuring improvements in patient experience.
Staff will also be asked the question while the NHS Commissioning Board will develop measures for specific groups of patients such as children and patients with dementia.
Delivering high quality care and measuring the impact
Led by: Gill Harris, currently chief nurse at NHS North of England
More use will be made of the Patient Safety Thermometer, which measures incidences of common causes of harm such as pressure ulcers and falls. It will also be adapted for other settings including mental health and learning disabilities.
New metrics and indicators which can be used to measure high quality care will be developed, influenced by recent work from King’s College London’s National Nursing Research Unit.
A small percentage of an NHS trust’s income could be made dependent on collecting data for the new metrics while the CQC will also consider how it could use them.
Building and strengthening leadership
Led by: Caroline Alexander, director of quality improvement at NHS Tower Hamlets
A leadership programme that will lead to a nationally recognised qualification is under development by the NHS Leadership Academy. Participants will do placements where specific skills are used such as change management or patient engagement. It is hoped it will take its first students in September 2013 and will be aimed at long-serving ward managers as well as new ones.
This area also recommends mentorship programmes for aspiring leaders and involvement of junior staff in leadership and service improvement early in their careers.
Ensuring we have the right staff, with the right skills, in the right place
Led by: Ruth May, director of nursing for NHS Midlands and East
This area recommends tools used to determine appropriate staffing levels in acute settings are refined. The DH will commission the development of evidence based staffing levels for mental health, learning disabilities, community and social care settings and will work with other national organisations to improve arrangements for recruitment, induction and training of healthcare assistants. More detail is expected in the new year on proposals for an “apprenticeship” scheme or foundation course.
It also recommends the development of models of clinical supervision to provide emotional support for qualified nurses and midwives.
Supporting positive staff experience
Led by: Trish Morris-Thompson, chief nurse at NHS London
The cultural barometer developed by senior nurses including Dame Elizabeth Fradd, Baroness Emerton and Sir Stephen Moss, is to be honed and rolled out so that organisations can measure their culture.
The DH and the commissioning board will develop an improved model for clinical placements, preceptorship and supervision. It also recommends a drive to increase the number of staff who have a good quality appraisal
Teams who have gone the extra mile to implement the 6 Cs will be recognised with a national award.