CNO introduces strategy for compassion in practice

A national strategy to build a culture of compassionate care across the NHS has been drawn up by Chief Nursing Officer (CNO), Jane Cummings.

Published on 4 December, the vision, entitled Compassion in Practice, aims to promote six fundamental values (6Cs) of nursing: care, compassion, competence, communication, courage and commitment.

CNO Jane Cummings said, ‘I want to make sure we give our patients the very best care with compassion and clinical skill, ensure pride in our professions and build respect.’

The new strategy identifies six areas of action to achieve the 6Cs: helping people to stay independent, maximizing wellbeing and improving health outcomes; working with people to provide a positive experience of care; delivering high quality care and measuring the impact of care; building and strengthening leadership; ensuring the NHS has the right staff, with the right skills, in the right place; and supporting positive staff experience.

Practice nurses

The new strategy commits the Department of Health and NHS Commissioning Board to developing the practice nursing contribution to the strategy by involving ‘practice nursing forums’.

Professor Beal, Director of Nursing: Quality Improvement and Care, said: ‘We will do this through the LAT [local area teams of the NHS Commissioning Board] nurses and nursing networks. We want to ensure practice nurses are fully involved with the development and implementation of the vision and strategy.’

The contribution of practice nurses is highlighted in the strategy as important to helping people to stay independent, maximize wellbeing and improve health outcomes. According to Professor Beal, practice nursing contributes in a number of valuable ways: ‘Practice nurses are the first point of contact for patients, know their patients, work closely with GPs and have expertise in long term conditions. They also carry out immunization and screening and they spend time giving patients high quality advice on their conditions, allowing them to sign post patients to other services as required.’

The strategy will be run over three years. Professor Beal says, ‘We are committed to having the detailed implementation plans in place by 31 March 2013.’

The strategy comes after an eight-week consultation involving over 9000 nurses, midwives, care staff and patients.

Taken from Practice Nursing, published 14 Dec 2012.