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Prime Minister's Commission calls for nurses to take professional pledge

  • 30 Comments

The final report of the Prime Minister’s Commission on the Future of Nursing and Midwifery has called for all nurses and midwives to make a pledge to provide high quality, compassionate care.

The move confirms a recommendation made in a draft version of the report, as revealed by Nursing Times last month.

The commission hopes that such a pledge will help to restore public trust in the profession, following an increasing number of cases over recent years that have highlighted patients being treated with an apparent lack of dignity or compassion.  

It is intended to complement the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s code and the NHS Constitution.

Health minister and commission chair Ann Keen said: “The Commission is clear that high quality, safe and compassionate care must rise to the top of the agenda for a 21st century world-class NHS. Nurses and midwives must renew their pledge to deliver this and employers must take responsibility for supporting them in this.

“If we are to build on the successes of the NHS and improve health and wellbeing, then we must ensure that nurses and midwives take their proper place as valued professionals at the heart of health care - delivering, leading and shaping care now and for future generations.”

The report, called Front Line Care, makes a total of 20 recommendations. Among these are the need to prepare nurses to meet the growing need for highly skilled care for people with long term conditions and the “complex needs of ageing”.

It also says that ward sisters, charge nurses and equivalent team leaders in the community and midwifery need “optimum support and training”. This is intended to help restore them to their “former traditional positions of authority as visible care champions”.

Additionally, it says the title “nurse” should be legally protected to reduce public confusion around roles and titles, that the Nursing and Midwifery Council should development regulation advanced nursing practice and that some form of regulation should be introduced for healthcare assistants and other non registered members of nursing teams.

The commission was set up by prime minster Gordon Brown in March 2009, with a mandate to advise him on how to build the future of health care, and give nurses and midwives a bigger say in service design and leadership as well as care delivery.

 

The nursing and midwifery pledge to deliver high quality care
1 Every nurse and midwife will uphold the Nursing and Midwifery Council Code and the values of the NHS Constitution, wherever they work, and will accept responsibility for and take charge of the quality of care, service and outcomes for every service user in their care. Each one of us will speak out and act wherever and whenever care falls below the agreed standard.
2 Every nurse and midwife, acknowledging the huge public investment in the provision of health care in the NHS and elsewhere, will act to ensure that these resources are used to optimum effect for the benefit of service users and society. This includes making best use of our own time and expertise, and developing and adopting practices, services and lifestyles that are health-promoting and sustainable.
3 Nurses and midwives, recognizing our important role in improving health and wellbeing and reducing inequalities, will engage actively in the design, monitoring and delivery of services to achieve this. We acknowledge that we are seen as role models of healthy living and will try to live up to this responsibility.
4 Nurses and midwives, acknowledging the public investment in our education, training and continuing professional development, will commit to delivering care that is evidence-based and effective, and evaluating and researching it to expand our knowledge of what works best.
5 Nurses and midwives, acknowledging that we are responsible for ensuring that health care decisions are informed by our expertise, will engage more directly with policy-making and decision-making. This includes decisions on funding priorities, health care technologies, and the development of innovative models of care.
6 Nurses and midwives will lead and manage the delivery of high quality, compassionate care. We will be at the leading edge of innovation, always challenging the status quo and taking responsibility for creating new solutions.

 

  • 30 Comments

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Readers' comments (30)

  • What a load of crap! Absolute garbage. Brown to give nurses a bigger say in service design, leadership and delivery? Would this be the same primary care services he is in the process of selling off?

    How much did this commission cost?

    While you are at it Brown why don't you get the Dr's to sign a pledge? Or rename the hypocratic oath the hypocritic oath (far more accurate.....just ask the recipients of out of hours care or dodgy GP practice). If he thinks nurses have lost the publics trust it will be interesting to see how much of the publics trust he himself has lost very soon!!!

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  • All about the NHS as usual what about those of us working in the independent sector, will this not apply to us? Whenever I have contacted DEO Health or Chief Nursing officer relating to nursing issues it's only ever the NHS thay are referring to.

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  • What a political gimmic. Still l suppose it is what we should expect from Gordon Brown and his advisors at a time when he is clinging onto power.

    In my view, it is not the nursing staff who are responsible for the majority of poor care that exists in our hospitals today, but the General Managers and economists who have been driving the NHS since 1982.

    This recommendation, suggests to me that Gordon has no idea what has or is going on in the NHS, and if this is the case, what chance do we have of ever putting things right.

    Only a small minority of Nurses fail to provide high standards of care, those that do are dealt with by the NMC, and l suspect that in a lot of reported cases, the nurses are found to be trying to cope with demands, that are unreasonable, given the resources available to them.

    Going back in time to Hypocrates to find a solution is not the answer. Cutting out the beauracrat's is.

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  • I'm sorry but who does these idiots think we are? Let's get a civil servant to pledge that your benefit won't take 3 months to process, A banker to pledge that he won't take a million pound bonus.
    Spineless civil servants and managers backed up by the RCN getting paid huge sums to come up with this rubbish, yet another reason to get out of nursing.
    With numpties like this running the NHS God help us

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  • I agree with all the comments above but do you know what? NOTHING will change and quite frankly I almost wish that it would all fall apart and then there would be a real witch hunt to blame someone and that would certainly be all the mindless, spineless wastes of oxygen that are all NHS managers who don't give a crap about anyone but their sychophantic, lazy and useless selves

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  • Sorry to disagree Anonymous 3-March 5:33, but something will change if we are dumb enough to accept this insulting farce.

    There will be more jobs for the pen pushers, and more NHS resources will be wasted.

    I still don't know who will pay for the waste. Will it come from our NMC fees?

    Why is the NMC Code of Conduct not protecting the puplic?

    We all know why. The corrupt & incompetent managers, responsible for the current dysfunction are not governed by the NMC.

    It would be more appropriate for Mr Brown's comission to ask these so called managers to sign a pledge to support front line staff and put an end to the bullying culture that they preside over.

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  • Sorry to disagree Anonymous 3-March 5:33, but something will change if we are dumb enough to accept this insulting farce.

    There will be more jobs for the pen pushers, and more NHS resources will be wasted.

    I still don't know who will pay for the waste. Will it come from our NMC fees?

    Why is the NMC Code of Conduct not protecting the puplic?

    We all know why. The corrupt & incompetent managers, responsible for the current dysfunction are not governed by the NMC.

    It would be more appropriate for Mr Brown's comission to ask these so called managers to sign a pledge to support front line staff and put an end to the bullying culture that they preside over.

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  • i dont think we should have a gimmic like a pledge to try and improve care as trained nurses we should be doing that any way but we all know there are some who dont i.e. patients not being fed or given drinks when they can not do it themselves
    patients left in dirty filthy clothes /beds
    staff who treat patients and families with no respect
    staff who do not adhere to infection control rules
    you know you can complain as moan as long as you like but the truth is nursing has to change, patients want basic nursing care from nurses some one to listen and explain when they are worried about what is happening to them. i work in the community and i am throughly sick to the teeth of patients saying to me please dont send me back in there(hospital) because of the treatment they have received and this is just not the odd patients im talking 99 per cent. to hear a patient praise their care is a rarety they can t all be wrong !!!!!and also included are medical staff, they have acted like god for too long about time they came into the real world.perhaps if we took iniative ourselves and stopped complaining things might start to change and work with what weve got

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  • What an utter pile of steaming crap it all is, the government have just slapped us all in the face yet again. What do they think our code of conduct is, a joke!!!. I already give 100% exellent service and work myself into the ground and what for, to be told yet again that I am no good and need to Improve my practice. What about you and your useless croneys Brown what about your pledge to improve things for our county, GET STUFFED!!!!!

    Helen Britton
    Community NUrse
    South Yorkshire.

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  • further to comments above not all nurses that fail to give poor care are dealt with by the NMC and that it is very few, if that were true then our hospitals would not be receiving so many complaints from patients / families about the poor care they receive

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