Call for compassionate nursing care

Categories: Care.

The Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) launched a three-year vision and strategy for nursing, midwifery and care staff at the CNO conference in Manchester this week.

‘Compassion in practice’ sets out ‘the 6Cs’ and the values and behaviours they cover, with the strategy stressing the importance of values, not just skills.

Jane Cummings, the Chief Nursing Officer, referred to hospices in her speech at the conference and the views she expressed reflected Help the Hospices call for consideration of collaboration, evaluation and monitoring and leadership and culture. Jane has been invited to attend a future meeting of the Executive Clinical Leads in Hospice and Palliative Care Network (ECLIHP).

“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,” Jane Cummings said. 

“The response from staff since my appointment has confirmed that nurses, midwives and care staff feel the same. The actions set out in this vision and strategy, which have been developed with you, will change the way we work, transform the care of our patients and ensure we deliver a culture of compassionate care.”

Executive clinical leads within the hospice sector welcomed the opportunity to comment on the CNO vision for nursing and endorsed the important contribution the adoption of the 6Cs could make to patients and carers’ experience of nursing care.

Marie Cooper, nurse – practice development lead for Help the Hospices, said: “Nurses increasingly collaborate with other health and social care colleagues in the delivery of care and therefore, to ensure a consistent quality standard, all have a responsibility to care with compassion.

“Indeed, each organisation may wish to reflect on how they promote and evidence a compassionate ethos in their dealings with staff as well as those they care for. 

“Leaders within our care institutions have a tremendous opportunity to meet the challenge set by Alan Kellehear to contribute to the building of ‘compassionate communities’. The business of building our capacity for compassion belongs to us all working in ‘Collaboration’, an additional but vital seventh C noted by the Executive Clinical Hospice Leads and their nursing staff.”

The National End of Life Care Programme ‘strongly recommended’ that care at the end of life is paid particular attention to in the roll-out of the vision.

Six areas of action outlined in the strategy, underpinned by the 6Cs, aim to enable ongoing improvements in care and services for all patients and service users. The action areas are:

  • Helping people to stay independent, maximise wellbeing and improving health outcomes. Working with people to provide a positive experience of care.
  • Delivering high quality care and measuring the impact.
  • Building and strengthening leadership. 
  • Ensuring we have the right staff, with the right skills, in the right place.
  • Supporting positive staff experience.

The report states that while each person can and does make a positive difference to every one of their patients and the people supported, ‘we can do more’.

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