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Nursing must change to meet its challenges, says CNO

  • 5 Comments

Chief nursing officer for England Jane Cummings has called on the profession to embrace change in order to meet the future needs of patients and overcome the pressures facing the health service.

In a blog to mark International Nurses Day, the CNO acknowledged that the “scale and pace of current changes undeniably bring pressures with them”.

“A profession that stands still cannot meet the challenges and demands of an ever-changing society”

Jane Cummings

But she said: “A profession that stands still cannot meet the challenges and demands of an ever-changing society.”

She highlighted that, in recent months, she had met nursing teams and individual nurses “dedicated to being adaptable and finding innovative solutions”.

In particular, she noted nurses working to help people with learning disabilities in their transition from institutional to residential care, nurses using IT to help people self-manage their conditions, and nurses working with other clinicians and community services to deliver integrated care.

“These ways of working are part of the changing health and care system,” she said. “In these demanding and pressurised instances, nurses are setting an example not only for fellow nurses but for other health and care professions.”

Ms Cummings added that effective service change would require “action on many levels” including new opportunities and responsibilities for nurses both individually and collectively in developing a “culture of health” – where prevention and supporting self-care were central.

Professor Viv Bennett

Professor Viv Bennett

Viv Bennett

Professor Viv Bennet, chief nurse at Public Health England, also used her Nurses Day blog to promote the vital role of nurses in prevention, especially around obesity.

She highlighted that nurses had a “long history” of responding to the changing needs of society and have been at the forefront of significant improvements, such as child and maternal mortality.

She too called for a “culture of health”, warning that obesity was resulting in “rapidly and hugely” increasing incidence of illnesses, like type 2 diabetes, and early deaths.

“Nurses alongside other health care professionals have important contributions to make in the battle against obesity,” she said, adding the PHE was launching a call for professional action on obesity reduction.

She added that nurses in “all roles and in all places” continued to make a difference to prevention.

“The relationships nurses build with individual patients and families, the links with communities and the trust the population places in nurses all provide opportunities for protecting and promoting health through leadership, partnership and health promoting practice,” she said.

“Nurses have important contributions to make in the battle against obesity”

Viv Bennett

She highlighted the All our Health framework for England, which is designed to promote and support the contribution that healthcare professionals make to improve population health.

In her blog, the CNO also highlighted the Compassion in Practice strategy, which she said had demonstrated ways in which “we can and do lead change” over the last three years.

She said strategy had delivered an open and honest care programme for maternity services, a barometer for organisations to gauge their culture of care, published guidance on staffing, researched shift patterns and launched resources on how to raise concerns.

Ms Cummings added that the strategy would be built with a new national framework for nursing – called Leading Change, Adding Value – which is set to be launched later this month.

“I look forward to all the ways in which we can lead change together, and am as grateful as ever to be part of such a dynamic profession,” she said.

  • 5 Comments

Readers' comments (5)

  • michael stone

    'Ms Cummings added that effective service change would require “action on many levels” including new opportunities and responsibilities for nurses both individually and collectively in developing a “culture of health” – where prevention and supporting self-care were central.'

    There seems to be quite a lot of emphasis in the above article on 'nurses prompting the public to stay healthier' - somewhat cynically, although it is a laudable objective, whenever I see that stuff 'coming from goverment' I tend to read it as 'if only people wouldn't get ill, we wouldn't need to spend money on them'.

    As for:

    'the profession [changing] to embrace change in order to meet the future needs of patients'

    I do, of course, see that as both sensible and necessary - but it covers a lot more than than stressing the 'health promoting practice' aspect of nursing.

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  • Most people with learning difficulties moved from institutional care to residential care 20 years ago!!

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  • Perhaps before the coming EU referendum on Thursday 23rd June 2016 Registered Nurses should have taken advantage of the special legislation now amongst others things enabling the humble Cornish pasty and French Champagne not to dissapear through competition with a protected status.

    I have received my beautiful badge celebrating 100 years of the RCN, which now supports and educates none Registered Nurses too.

    I'm nostalgic already for what is passing without a fight, for all the right intentions but without a review or backwards glance.

    On our car boot table of skills, knowledge, history and future what items have been snapped up first or given away easy?

    Please CNO don't forget about Registered Nurses.

    We can clean and provide personal care alongside enhanced technical skills and leadership requirements.

    We can stay late and not be paid, work through our breaks and fund our education.

    We can be accountable for our practice and that of others alongside working nights, days, weekends and bank holidays.

    What we have never been able to do.....is look after each other and our profession as well as we look ofter our charges.

    This is our great undoing and is it too late?

    https://twitter.com/chrisbarral



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  • Mr Stone has now made over three and a half thousand comments on this forum. Many of them valuable and many incomprehensible (probably valid comments lost in a sea of pedantry) though I cannot claim to have read them all. Unlike Mr Stone, I do not have the time!
    That said, I believe he has every right to comment on issues which draw his interest. He may not be in the healthcare profession but this does not, in my opinion, detract from his being able to contribute to a debate on whatever topic he chooses.

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  • michael stone

    ANONYMOUS 18 MAY, 2016 2:35 PM

    Thank you, your comment seems about right to me. I do have plenty of time, not enough enthusiasm [for anything, really], and definitely not enough enjoyment. My end-of-life comments are necessarily difficult to follow, unless the Mental Capacity Act and EoL at home are one of a person's specialist interests. I also tend to be 'nerdy' (but I hope not pedantic).

    ANONYMOUS 19 MAY, 2016 10:45 AM

    I'm not au fait with psychiatry/psychology - but can a person have subconscious motives (as opposed to subconscious drives) ?

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