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Pledge to restore public trust in nursing


The Prime Minister’s Commission on the Future of Nursing and Midwifery will ask all nurses to make a pledge underlining their commitment to high quality care, their engagement with health service improvement and their professional accountability.

The pledge is intended to complement the Nursing and Midwifery code of practice and help embed the values of the NHS Constitution. It is the commission’s attempt to write a “new story” about nursing that will restore public trust in a profession rocked by examples of poor care in recent years.

It calls on nurses to renew their commitment to the public and patients and by doing so reverse the perception of nurses as “passive”, undervalued, “poorly educated handmaidens” subordinate to doctors.

The pledge is one of a series of the commission’s draft recommendations seen by Nursing Times.

The prime minister set up the commission in March last year to investigate how advances in nurses’ role could be enhanced and to explore public attitudes to nursing. Its final report is due to be published next month.

The pledge will involve all nurses undertaking to “speak out and act” when care falls below agreed standards and to “engage more directly” with health policy making and financial decisions.

It follows concerns expressed to the commissioners that nurses were regarded as “passive implementers” of policy, rather than actively engaged in its making.

It will also require them to promise to adopt healthy lifestyles to become “role models” for the rest of society.



Readers' comments (37)

  • I can see how this would be ideal, but just one thing, could we be allowed to have some kind of a life outside of work? Is this not allowed? Weren't we supposed to be making nursing an attractive career? This kind of dedication with low pay is surely not viable in this day and age...

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  • why don't we have an equivalent to the Hippocratic Oath. It has served the medical profession and their patients worldwide for thousands of years.

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  • More for the poor nurse to do with the same pay, in the same time, the same working conditions, and what is the incentive? I feel there need to be some drastic changes to all of the above. Why on earth would any nurse flog themselves ( even more ) to death for zero benefit to themselves. The nursing body is not collectively responsible for the publics view - it is those who govern their work, recruitment and policy. IMHO.

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  • The patients charter stopped all respect for nurses and removed all the enthusiasm. Nurses would turn themselves inside out for patients at one time and get thanks in return.Now its give give give only to receive complaints and verbal abuse.You can have the nicest patient, and stay on late and do more than is called for, but invariably when they go home youll get a letter of complaint with absolute bare face lies.I wouldnt encourage anyone to go into nursing.Its a completely different NHS to what I went into many years ago and isnt a nice place to work!

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  • Well Said !!! I agree totally with all above comments. Beth Young this is precisely how I feel. Young nurses and young students of nowadays would say " I am here for the money" If the pay is low , nurses will just leave and do something else.

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  • Will I be expected to make this pledge daily before I start my shift?

    Really, is this going to make any difference to the overall quality care that patients receive?

    What will make a real difference, is giving ward staff the power and resources to make quality care a reality. We understand what is required, instead we are spoon-fed platitudes by politicians and scolded by management who deny the resources that are necessary.

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  • If nurses put up with this, we are holding our hands up and accepting the failures in the NHS are our fault.

    The Government wants us to take the fall to protect their image. Let's keep pledging to work harder and harder in poor conditions, with poor resources, and low staffing to level of acuity. The Commission are acting like they have provided us with everything we could dream of and we are still letting them down.

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  • Completely agree with the above and other comments!!
    Here we go again..... on a daily basis I must remind myself that we as nurses are ultimately responsible for all the current failings in the NHS!!! Its the nurses yet again being made scape goats.
    We take the brunt of agression from patients and relatives because I was told 'well you have to shout at someone and you are here!!'
    Im sorry I will NOT be blamed!!
    I work hard and do the job to the very best of my ability BUT I have a life other than work and am sick of being dictated to!!
    The Government need to wake up and smell the coffee!! an oath wont repair the damage already done to the NHS.
    Maybe they should come and work and see actually what a fantastic job a very large percentage of nurses do under very difficult conditions.

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  • An oath is offensive to some religions - so would be a contradiction to the other lists we have been asked to abide by!
    When you apply to go on the register you sign your name to a commitment to abide by NMC etc This latest piece of paper is yet another long winded work designed to keep "the boys" in a job - they call them commissions but the reality is they're all quangoes - if somebody offered me 360 - 1000 pounds for one days work I'd take it!

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  • What does, 'they should use their OWN time well to develop services'......I presume this does not mean time off. So how do we get our OWN time when we can barely keep up with the day job?
    'Nurses should be role models for healthy living'? Working nights...long days, going without breaks, studying in time off, putting in extra hours and never getting time back...( I could go on...)
    The governement should pledge to look after nurses and midwives with respect and we'll take care of the rest.

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