Nurses at a trust in Norfolk have agreed 12 core principles to guide their nursing practice and stress a focus on compassion.
The principles will be posted on walls in all wards across the Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn Trust, every nurse will be given a copy and they will be used when recruiting new staff.
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The principles are part of a three year plan for developing and running the trust’s nursing and midwifery services.
Associate chief nurse Val Newton told Nursing Times the principles were drawn up after consulting nurses across the trust, from staff nurses to the chief nurse.
They include meeting the individual needs of patients, developing effective leadership, and respecting privacy and dignity. Ms Newton said they emphasised compassion.
She said: “It’s important that patients feel sure nurses are skilled, but also that they have compassion.
“As nursing becomes more academic, it’s important that nurses and patients know that kindness and compassion is the starting point for nursing.”
The principles were launched this month during a visit to the trust by chief nursing officer for England Dame Christine Beasley.
The final report of the Prime Minister’s Commission on the Future of Nursing and Midwifery, published in March, recommended that all nurses should make a six point pledge to provide high quality compassionate care.
The 12 principles
The 12 principles – now posted visibly on all of the hospital’s wards - pledge high standards of patient-focused care on:
• giving patients a ‘positive’ experience
• having a highly skilled workforce
• respecting privacy and dignity
• providing safer care to young people
• using clinical audit to evaluate the quality of patient care
• working in partnership across the health/social/voluntary community
• attracting high caliber NHS recruits
• reducing health inequalities
• putting patient safety first
• meeting the individual needs of patients
• developing effective leadership
• developing a ‘woman-centred’ maternity service delivering the highest standards of mother and baby care.