Commission discusses public comments

Reflecting on views from the public and professionals, and considering how it will formulate its report, were major topics discussed at the Commission’s fifth meeting.

The commissioners met in London on 23 October, the day after a national deliberative event where they listened to a range of opinions on nursing and midwifery in England. Health service users, new mothers (and babies), nurses, midwives and members of the public told commissioners what they thought of the commission’s vision for the future. They also commented on the 10 hot topics on which commissioners are seeking fresh thinking and innovative solutions.

At their own meeting, commissioners also exchanged views on what they have been hearing during the series of listening events hosted by Strategic Health Authorities in each English region. One emerging issue was the fact that the public is not always fully aware of the range of nurses’ and midwives’ roles and how they have changed to reflect current health knowledge and needs.

Commissioners agreed how to structure the report that they will launch by next March. As well as a written text in a traditional format, its key messages will be communicated to different audiences using a variety of media and formats, to reach as many people as possible.

Finally, the commissioners discussed the main system barriers and forces that prevent nurses and midwives from fulfilling their full potential. They agreed that the biggest impact in future will come from relocating care from hospitals to home and community settings.