The chief nursing officer for England’s new framework for nurses, midwives and care workers has been welcomed by leaders among the profession, who have praised it for its attention to public health, in particular.
The framework, called Leading Change, Adding Value, is the successor to the 2012 Compassion in Practice strategy. It focusses on improving care through demonstrating nurses’ impact and reducing unwarranted variation.
The Royal College of Nursing and Royal College of Midwifery both highlighted that the new framework recognised the importance of prevention in delivering its aims.
However, RCN chief executive and general secretary Janet Davies said recent work by the union had shown there was “a lack of resources” in the areas of prevention and public health.
She noted the framework also acknowledged this lack of resource, adding that it was not just evident in public health budget cuts but was also the biggest problem affecting staff across the NHS.
“As well as making better, more efficient use of resources, the NHS will need more investment to adapt and cope with increasing demands,” she said.
“Better outcomes, better experiences and better use of resources leading to improvements in population health is a key focus for midwives”
“This framework sets an excellent example to staff that they can make a difference in the health service. They now need investment in their education and support to get the best value from their skills,” she said.
The RCM’s director for England, Jacque Gerrard, said the framework aligned well to the college’s own model on the midwifery contribution to public health.
“Better outcomes, better experiences and better use of resources leading to improvements in population health is a key focus for midwives in their public health role,” she said.
“Midwives and maternity support workers are keen to support women to give them and their children the best possible start in life. This can be achieved in part by accessing midwifery care as early as possible and maintaining that contact throughout pregnancy and beyond,” she added.
Meanwhile, the social care sector has welcomed the framework for helping to “bring together nursing and care teams across health and social care”.
“Having a framework which supports a common vision for all can help us all improve our practice [and] break down barriers between settings”
Martin Green, chief executive of Care England, which represents independent social care providers, said the new strategy “at last” recognised staff in the sector as being equal partners to those in the NHS.
Deborah Sturdy, nurse advisor to Care England, added that the new framework provided an opportunity to bring together the entire profession and care teams. “The needs of people living in care homes are complex, and require an educated and highly skilled workforce,” she said.
“Having a framework which supports a common vision for all can help us all improve our practice, break down barriers between settings and stand alongside the NHS as equals and partners in improving outcomes for those we deliver care to everyday,” she added.
Danny Mortimer, chief executive of NHS Employers, said: “This new strategy, which builds on the foundations of Compassion in Practice, provides further direction and professional leadership that will allow employers to support staff to reach their full potential.
“We need to seize this opportunity to ensure truly compassionate care remains at the heart of everything in the NHS,” he said.