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NT talks to CNO Dame Christine Beasley about the NHS Next Stage Review

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A three-minute interview with chief nursing officer for England Dame Christine Beasley on how Lord Darzi's latest set of reforms for the NHS will affect nurses.

How has the NHS Stage Review been developed?

It’s been a really involving process. The regional reports that have been coming out have included a whole range of clinicians, including nurses, at a local level – much of all that work has come from the bottom up. There’s been a whole range of nurses involved from the trades union side leaders to clinical practitioners in a lot of this work – that Janice has done a lot of the leading on, so I think it has a real ownership from nurses and midwives as well.

What does the review represent?

As [Lord] Ara [Darzi] was saying, the whole thrust of the enabling report and then the detail you'll find in the workforce report and then the primary and community care strategy that comes out a little later will support this how do we provide the very best quality of care to our patients and our clients. And then what do we need to do to help support staff, in this case nurses and midwives, to be the very best they can to deliver that. And that then takes us into what we need to do in our workforce, education and training and giving other opportunities that come this way...so there's a lot in these documents I think that will be very attractive.

What does the review mean for the Modernising Nursing Careers programme?

We’ve brought the two together. Just to be clear that the careers work will continue in tandem. I think there is some confusion and it would be helpful to clarify. I think.

Why are trusts and employers to be measured on how well they provide continuing professional development?

Because certainly there has been a common complaint from staff, particularly nursing staff, around the variability and lack of support around continuing professional development, and it's very difficult to know where that is, so actually getting the employers to say what they are doing will give both staff a view of where do I want to work – and will they support me – but also will give other people, commissioners and others, [information on] what are they really investing in their staff to provide the quality of service.

You have announced you are to triple the money given by government for nurse preceptorships. How much is it at present and will it be enough for every newly-qualified nurse to get one?

This year SHAs had £10m and the threefold by definition would take it up to £30m. That’s the start of it. Many SHAs with their organisations have been looking at how best to use that year and it can range from – it can be a newly qualified midwife accessing specific training, it could be accessing a mentor – it could be a whole range of things and so, again, we don’t want to be prescriptive, but what we do know is that nurses themselves and midwives want that sort of support. Nurses and midwives who are supported through that first year, because remember some trusts are doing this already, tend to fly – having had that support in the first year, they really tend to fly.

We’re currently doing quite a lot of work around the resources available to us in education, which are quite significant, and some of this detailed financing together we will then see if we X will it free more up for Y, and how will we do that. So the £30m will be a start, it certainly won’t be enough to cover the whole country. It’s certainly something we are responding to from newly qualified staff and indeed from senior staff who are saying: actually that’s what people need and want.

Do you get paid while you do this fourth year?

They get paid, they get registered as normal.

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