Senior nurses will be encouraged to go into commissioning roles through a new initiative being set up by the NHS Commissioning Board and the Royal College of Nursing.
Speaking at the Healthcare Innovation Expo in London last week, chief nursing officer for England Jane Cummings said she wanted to target nurses who work at a senior level to encourage them to go into this “critical role”.
Speaking to Nursing Times afterwards, she said that there was a need to make commissioning “an attractive career” for nurses but also to ensure that all nurses realised they could influence the commissioning and design of services.
In 2011 Nursing Times’ Seat on the Board campaign helped ensure nurses were represented on the GP led clinical commissioning groups which will replace primary care trusts from April.
Ms Cummings said it was important this was not a “tick-box exercise” but that nurses made a real contribution.
She also announced plans to set up a network of practice nurses who she described as “hard to reach”. The joint initiative with the RCN aims to support practice nurses to contribute to innovation and influence CCGs.
“We have better access to them now through CCGs than we did through the previous system,” said Ms Cummings. “But they are still hard to reach, and it’s hard for them to reach me.”
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