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Voicepiece – Framing the future for nursing and midwifery

  • Last modified date:
    26 April 2011
photo of christine beasley

Chief Nursing Officer Christine Beasley

Along with patients and the public, many readers contributed to the consultation that led to 'Front Line Care', the report by the Prime Minister’s Commission on the future of Nursing and Midwifery in England.

The report was commissioned by the previous administration and published in March 2010, and I am pleased that Health Minister Anne Milton recently published the Government’s response at the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Congress in Liverpool.

Since the original report was published, the Principles of Nursing Practice have been launched. These were developed in partnership with the RCN and the Nursing and Midwifery Council. The eight core principles set the direction for nursing and midwifery, in the context of 'Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS', and form the basis of the DH’s response to the Commission’s recommendations.

The principles set out clearly that dignity, responsibility, patient involvement and safety awareness should form the solid foundation for good nursing practice. The response to the 20 recommendations made by the Commission include support for the pledge to deliver high quality care, addressing the contribution of nurses and midwives and their freedom to manage, commission and run their own services.

International Nurses Day on 12 May gives us all an opportunity to reinforce this pledge to society, marking and celebrating local initiatives where nurses are demonstrating the benefits of their involvement in promoting health and wellbeing and commissioning and shaping services.

Another key commitment is the plan to increase the number of health visitors, so that children, families and communities benefit from their skills and expertise as public health practitioners.

This edition of the CNO Bulletin includes further details of how this initiative will be implemented. Last month, 20 early implementer sites were launched, which will demonstrate the new health service model with health visitors at its heart. At the same time, we are planning to not only recruit more health visitors, but also to support and provide development opportunities for our existing health visitor workforce.

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