NHS England framework focuses on new ways of working

England's chief nursing officer Jane Cummings unveils Leading Change, Adding Value framework at RCN HQ today (May 18)

The long-awaited successor to the Compassion in Practice strategy for nurses, midwives and care staff will be launched today (May 18) at the RCN’s London headquarters.

Leading Change, Adding Value – unveiled by the chief nursing officer for England Jane Cummings – will guide staff for the next four years.

Chief nursing officer for England Jane Cummings at the framework launch. Picture credit: Grant Humphreys

Unlike Compassion in Practice, NHS England describes the new guidance as a ‘framework not a strategy’. It is intended to cut down on jargon and give nurses and midwives a national document that can be implemented at local level, in hospitals and in the community.

The framework is also designed to complement the NHS chief executive Simon Stevens’ strategy Five Year Forward View, which runs until 2020, by showing nurses the role they can play in implementing key health policies.

Planning for the new framework began last summer, with 11,000 written suggestions for content being contributed by nurses and midwives via meetings, emails and social media.

The three most requested elements were:

  • Retain the 6Cs – compassion, courage, care, commitment, competence and communication.
  • Ensure ownership – make the framework relevant at a local level.
  • Engage with nurses and midwives.

After reviewing the suggestions, Ms Cummings and her team developed ten commitments (see end of story) as the basis for the new framework.

Ms Cummings said: ‘All nurses have a role to play in promoting our profession and I want them to understand what this framework means to them as individuals.

‘While a huge amount of work will continue to be done in hospitals, we have to look to the future, where care in communities and direct to patients in their homes is key.’

Ms Cummings said she recognised the pressure and demands faced by the 545,000 registered nurses and midwives working across organisations in England, adding: ‘This framework is about positioning nurses as leaders across the board and how we in authority support them.’

The ten commitments

Under the framework, nurses, midwives and NHS England will pledge to:

  1. Promote a culture where improving health is a core component of practice.
  2. Increase the visibility of nursing leadership in preventing illness.
  3. Help individuals and communities to manage their own health well.
  4. Focus on high-value care.
  5. Work in partnership with individuals, their families and carers.
  6. Actively respond to what matters most to staff and colleagues.
  7. Lead and drive research.
  8. Have the right education, training and development to enhance practice.
  9. Have the right staff in the right places and at the right time.
  10. Champion the use of technology and informatics to improve practice.