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New CNO seeks to 'demonstrate good work' of profession


England’s next chief nursing officer has told Nursing Times she is anxious to “demonstrate the good work that nursing and midwifery does”.

The Department of Health announced last week that Jane Cummings would be the CNO on the newly created NHS Commissioning Board. She will act as the national lead for the profession.

Ms Cummings is currently chief nurse at the NHS North of England strategic health authority cluster and was previously nursing director at NHS North West.

Among a range of regional and national projects, she has led the high profile Energise for Excellence programme which encourages nurses to lead improvements in care quality and efficiency.

Speaking ahead of taking up her new post, Ms Cummings said: “One of the challenges will be how I can communicate with the hundreds of thousands of nurses that are driving improvements in patient safety and experience.”

“I want to be able to demonstrate the value that nursing and midwifery brings to the vast majority of patients.”

She comes to the role against a background of high profile public and media concern about care quality. One of Ms Cummings’ first major jobs is likely to be responding to the public inquiry report into Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust, which is expected in May.

She said: “I feel very privileged to have the job, I realise there are challenges ahead and look forward to working with nurses and midwives across the country to move things forward.”

Ms Cummings trained at Bristol’s Southmead Hospital. She later specialised in emergency care, before moving into management. In 2002 she joined the DH and led high profile drives to improve accident and emergency waiting times and patient choice. She became director of nursing at NHS North West in 2007.

Along with new DH director of nursing Viv Bennett, Ms Cummings will replace current CNO for England Dame Christine Beasley.


Readers' comments (4)

  • Eh, good luck with that then. Of course you realise that in the CNO reduced role, the government is not at all interested in what you have to say? No, you probably don't.

    Perhaps it might be better to at least attempt to tackle the very real issues in nursing today, instead of adopting a defensive stance. Go on the attack and DEMAND minimum registered staff:patient ratios, an end to redundancies and the endless attacks on our pay and pensions. STAND UP FOR NURSES, for God's sake!!

    I hold no hope at all that you'll do any of this. Do you know why?

    “I feel very privileged to have the job, I realise there are challenges ahead and look forward to working with nurses and midwives across the country to move things forward.”

    With insipid pap like that, I know that we are all scr"wed.

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  • Annonymous - sadly I agree with all you say.........but she must say that there is also 'crap' nursing out there too and must give the message that she will support senior nurses to try to get rid of this awful and abusive practice.

    Her message at the moment sounds like the RCN senior people around the UK too!!

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  • Like most of our 'Leaders' it is just more of the same. Nothing clearly stated, only ambiguity. its a sort of "I'll endeavour to persevere " statement. I find it strange that when the press want a statement of some kind. They generally go to RCN (Carter et al). A CNO is rarely heard, which shows how much influence they have. How can nurses lead improvements in care? workloads are are too high, staff ratios are crap. Im exhausted, my colleagues are exhausted! Sometimes the level of responsibility is truly frightening. The government, whatever flavour, will try to get away with what it can. But it can really only do that if it is allowed to. It is the job of our 'Leaders' to fight tooth and nail for us. They never do, therefore year in and year out, it gets worse. So I now state that the 'problem' with nursing is our own 'leaders'. We are lead by donkeys!

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  • tinkerbell

    Sadly its a race to the bottom for the workng class now. Nursing is not held in any esteem by this government, we are just a drain on the finances and the sooner we are disbanded the better and they can get someone else in to do it cheap as chips.

    They care not a jot for what we think, as they have made obvious, they care not for what we do as they are clueless. They care not for what anyone else thinks either, they could not have made that any plainer.

    So don't anyone think there is going to be any advancement in nursing any more, its all downhill from now on.

    I'm sorry to sound so negative but i cannot deny the facts or bury my head in the sand. Nursing as a profession is doomed. We have risen above our status wanting to get ourselves an education and wanting to be anything more than scivvys. Time to jog on.

    Now that this government has flushed over 60 years of social reform for our country with their NHS reforms down the pan they would like it if we all followed quietly down the crapper too.

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