Round-up of last month’s main workforce and policy news affecting UK nurses
Posted on 7/06/2018 by
England’s CNO announces exit with shake-up of role to follow
England’s most senior nurse has signalled that she is to step down from her role in the near future, while also unveiling ambitions to reform the country’s nursing leadership structure.
“It has been an honour and privilege to be the professional lead for over 500,000 nurses and midwives”
Chief nursing officer for England Professor Jane Cummings announced in May that she would be retiring in around six months. During her remaining time in post, she will work to combine the senior nursing teams currently at NHS England and the regulator NHS Improvement.
She has recommended to NHS leaders that the CNO should be the executive nurse lead for both organisations, which have wider plans to work more closely together. Dr Ruth May is currently executive chief nurse at NHS Improvement and is also a deputy CNO.
Professor Cummings said: “I believe passionately in nursing and midwifery and that the professions and the NHS benefit if we speak with one voice. Over the next six months, my focus will be to support the alignment of the two nursing teams across NHS England and NHS Improvement.”
She added: “It has been an honour and privilege to be the professional lead for over 500,000 nurses and midwives who make an incredible difference to people when they need it most.”
Professor Cummings became CNO for England in March 2012. She has overseen the publication of the Compassion in Practice nursing strategy, which included the “6Cs”, followed by its successor Leading Change, Adding Value In 2016.
Earlier this year she announced that a major national nursing recruitment campaign would be launched this summer to coincide with the NHS 70th birthday.
The Royal College of Nursing is to demand safe nurse staffing legislation in all parts of the UK in a new campaign it will launch this autumn, its chief executive and general secretary has announced.
As part of her speech at the RCN’s annual congress in Belfast, Janet Davies attacked “short-sighted” cost-cutting measures that had led to staff shortages, and a failure by politicians to listen to the warnings of nurses.
She said care was being “totally compromised” by staffing shortages and evidence showed patient mortality increased with fewer registered nurses.
Among a range of issues, the conference also featured reports and debates on lack of investment in health visiting and school nursing services, staffing shortages in sexual health clinics and prisons.
In addition, Ms Davies told delegates that the RCN would look into concerns about the way the NHS pay deal has been communicated to its members, following claims that the union has “misrepresented” the offer.