Nurses and midwives must get better at demonstrating the “value” they bring instead of just focussing on working “harder” or “smarter” to become more efficient, the chief nursing officer for England has said.
In her keynote address at this year’s CNO summit, Jane Cummings noted that the “overwhelmed” nursing profession often reacted negatively when urged to work in a more efficient way.
“We’re not always good at demonstrating the value that we can bring. We need to do more about that”
Instead, she said nurses should recognise and show the importance of the way they deliver care – but also have the “courage” to cut out practices that did not benefit patients or the profession.
Speaking in Birmingham yesterday, Ms Cummings said: “We’ve talked about nurses and midwives being good at adapting and changing.
“We’re not always good at demonstrating the value that we can bring. We need to do more about that,” she told delegates.
She added: “We get lots of calls to work harder, to work smarter, to be more efficient and that often causes a mad reaction from people. They say ‘We can’t work any harder or faster. We are overwhelmed with work.’”
“So it’s about trying to step back from that and say why are you doing things that are adding value,” she said.
“We’ve had overwhelming consensus to keep the 6Cs [in the next nursing strategy for England]
Ms Cummings said it meant ensuring optimal care “day-in and day-out” and not just when health and care organisations were under scrutiny from regulators.
The CNO said her new strategy for the profession – which will follow on from the current Compassion in Practice strategy when it ends in March – would focus on the ways the nursing profession could add value to the profession, individuals and the population.
She said nurses needed to recognise that patient demand could be driven by clinical behaviours.
“We need to give the right information that gives the right approach for patients, so we don’t create confusion and service dependancy,” she said.
Ms Cummings also told delegates there was an “overwhelming consensus” to keep the “6Cs” in her new strategy.
Her original strategy, published in 2012, was best known for its focus on these six principles of nursing care – care, compassion, competence, communication, courage and commitment.
“We’ve had overwhelming consensus to keep the 6Cs. There are some people who feel they have run their course but the vast majority have said ‘please keep it’,” she said.
“We’ve delivered an awful lot with [Compassion in Practice]. We need now something that is resilient, that looks to the future, that helps to equip us to deliver the right care for the right people at the right time,” she told the conference of senior nurse leaders.