This month, CNO Christine Beasley highlights two publications that focus on the quality agenda, and contain important messages for those in leadership roles.
Earlier this month, Transforming Community Services: the assurance approvals process for PCT-provided community services was published.
This provides guidance to the NHS on delivering the requirements set out in the Operating Framework 2010/11.
Achieving productivity through improved partnerships, care pathways and, where appropriate, organisational integration continues to be a focal point. The challenge
for leaders at all levels is to support staff to make the cultural, clinical, professional and organisational changes required to deliver this challenging agenda.
As a member of the National Quality Board (NQB), I am pleased to see the publication of the first annual report for 2009/10.
“The challenge for leaders at all levels is to support staff to make the cultural, clinical, professional and organisational changes required to deliver this challenging agenda”
The delivery of high quality care is increasingly underpinned by complex issues, which many of you, whatever health and wellbeing environment you work
in, will be aware of.
The NQB report provides an overview of some of the complexities that have begun to be addressed.
These will be further developed in order to achieve the step change in quality that is required, and how to achieve this across the whole NHS. This includes the
need for clearer descriptions of roles and responsibilities - not just for individuals, but also for organisations - in safeguarding quality.
One example of this is building on governance arrangements for quality, so that boards of provider organisations can further assure themselves about the quality of care their organisation provides.
Linked with this, it is evident from the NQB’s work that there are times when people are unsure about the information available to help them assess the quality of health and wellbeing services.
As the first point of contact for many patients, I know nurses and midwives are often asked for their opinion on which sources to use, and work is planned to look at how we can improve the way information is presented and communicated to people.
I am also pleased with the success in achieving the reductions in MRSA, ahead of schedule.
Many of you will have contributed to the implementation of the changes to practice that brought about this significant improvement.
A new objective for MRSA has been set for acute trusts and primary care organisations and will come into effect from April 2010. This will have implications for nurses and midwives in helping to improve and maintain performance.
In doing so, nurses and midwives further enhance the experience and confidence of people who come into contact with the NHS.
As quality continues to be the focus of the NHS, one of the central tenets is the need for strong leadership.
Regardless of whether you are a nurse or midwife in a clinical or managerial position, I would encourage you to lead and develop a culture where the health and wellbeing pathway is the focus to improving quality.