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Expert group appointed to advise on nursing future

10th March 2009

An expert group has been formed in order to offer advice to the government in England about nurses and midwives.

NurseBloodPressure1

The commission will discuss how nurses and midwives could aid in improving patient care and how they could take on a "more central role".

The group will carry out wide-ranging consultations and publish its conclusions in March next year.

Its chairperson is Health Minister Ann Keen, who has previously worked as a nurse. 

The commission will look at every aspect of nurses and midwives' roles and build on Lord Darzi's review of the NHS, which was set out in 2008.

Health Secretary Alan Johnson commented on how nurses' jobs had been transformed by taking on increased responsibility and management.

He said: "With the focus for the NHS centred on quality, now is a good time to consider how we build on these expanding roles."

Dr Peter Carter, general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, said he was in favour of the new group.

He added: "This is the group of health professionals that spends more time with patients than any other, therefore nurses know what's needed to deliver high quality patient care."

Karen Jennings, head of health at the health care workers' union Unison, said the group would give the government a "much needed" opportunity to understand and use nurses' knowledge and ideas.  

 

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Comments

jacquie scott

Thursday 12th March 2009 @ 9:42

I warmly welcome the refocus on nursing in the development of the commission as it will allow nursing to demonstrate its strengths. I am disappointed though that the make up of the 'commission' team are again familiar suspects. I recognise that surveys and straw polls using the staff 'bottom up ' approach has been incorporated but voices at the table are in my opinion required - not all academics and managers.

I am also not clear how those staff in primary care are going to be supported - especially the practice nurse who is to some extent controlled by how progressive the practice they work in is developing. PCT's can have limited influence.

Perhaps the further creation of opportunities will encourage further personal professional development and then consequent higher quality, but there needs to be some serious thinking about the best approach to encourage and support staff to take advantage of this marvellous gift. Work pressure will be a major obstacle.
I look forward to watching the progress of the commission. I am passionate about nursing and hope this time it addresses the real issues faced in the current heath economy.


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