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Nurses need new skills for a new NHS, says leadership chief


Nurses need to be empowered with new skills to help them move into new settings, according to the head of the NHS’ new Leadership Academy.

Jan Sobieraj, interim head of the academy, told Nursing Times that nurses needed to be given specific training on working in community settings, as more services were moved out of traditional acute environments.

“Nurses have to be trained and supported differently,” he said. “That is clearly going to have to happen to secure improvements in care in the future.”

The former Department of Health managing director of workforce added: “It’s about shifting what they are doing, not about cutting the numbers of staff. We need them to work differently and we need to increase their skills.

“The staff have got to have different sorts of clinical skills to deliver this [transfer of care].”

The NHS Leadership Academy has been created to develop and support health service leaders to deliver better patient care in the next three to five years.

It has a budget of £30m and will offer coaching, mentoring, courses and support to emerging and existing leaders.

Mr Sobieraj said there were good leaders in the NHS but standards were variable. The academy would work with all sections of the workforce, from entry level graduates, middle-grade staff and senior leaders, to develop a “consistent approach” to “professionalising leadership”, he said.


Readers' comments (10)

  • " consistent approach " :-)

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  • it is clear that the role of nurses has changed considerably and continues to change and training has to keep abreast with the needs not only of patients but also with the wider labour market in order for people to survive in the workplace and continue to provide high quality care.

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  • The role of the service has been changed by blatant political dictat and not the need of patients nor their carers.

    Nurses are being taken down a path that is far removed from their role by those with no practical insight into what a Nurses true role is.

    This new demand on Nurses is I expect no more than a shallow attempt to show justification for the setting up of a, "Leadership Academy."

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  • Basically the name"NURSE" should be changed..because there is no such thing any more.

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  • Currently nurses are being employed in community straight from qualifying, without the necessary skills required. I cannot see how "further training" is going to be of benefit if they have not attained the basic level required to work autonomusly!! District Nursing certificate used to be required then it became 5 years experience in an acute setting now it's seems just qualifying is adequate!!!

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  • Quite right - community training has been available for 150 years - what was the point of phasing it out only to say its needed again - we tried to say that but as ever when you don't agree you are condemnation as an old fashioned stick in the mud.

    Politicians need new skills to ensure that the NHS continues. But no the health minister doesn't have to have any specific training just a strong desire to interfere with something he knows nothing about. Oh and the skill to not listen to the opinions of those who work in the setting - they are bound to be clueless.

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  • I'm pleased that he has identified change as the main driver - after all, nursing and nurses have never had to deal with changes based on political whims!
    His ramblings sound like he is trying to justify his job, rather than articulating a vision! Maybe I am new to this game (21 years and counting) but change is the only constant that I have known in my career!

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  • What about juggling countless balls (Agendas and Priorities) in the air, while blindfolded and having your hands tied behind your back.

    That would be a very useful skill for all of us in the current NHS !!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • More training needed across the board including the acute sector. In an ever changing NHS this is crucial. I have heard of nurses self funding courses, this is not on!
    But I can't agree with the comment that nurses shouldn't come straight out of nursing school in to the community. I didn't work in a hospital before community work and there was little I had learned in hospital that I actually used outside it, and I learned everything I needed to know either from my DN lead, my colleagues or from further community specific training, eg catheter management, leg ulcer management.

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  • Mr Sobieraj
    I am a nurse who is all for good training
    to do the job of giving the highest standard of care for the patients.
    I will like to remind you that basic care is most important and I am not one who prefer to sit by a computer or desk on the ward spending most of my time with paper work, so if this new training is about more paper work with less nurses/carers with the patients doing what must be done think again.

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