The Prime Minister launched the Commission in March 2009 and brought together leaders and experts in nursing and midwifery practice, management, education and research. NHS Employers submitted evidence to the Commission in August 2009. The Government published a response to the report recommendations on the 12 April 2011.
The Commission's 20 high level recommendations are based on seven key themes:
- high quality, compassionate care
- the political economy of nursing and midwifery
- health and well-being
- caring for people with long-term conditions
- promoting innovation in nursing and midwifery
- nurses and midwives leading services
- careers in nursing and midwifery.
Download a copy of the full list of recommendations from the Commission website.
The key issues arising from the Governments response
The Government has responded to the recommendations by setting out the expectations and actions for employer and staff at all levels, including board level. The report recognises the significant contribution that nurses and midwives make and identifies a number of actions they can implement to ensure the continued delivery of high quality care.
Included in their proposals are the following key actions:
- employers and educators need to use the Principles of Nursing Practice as a pledge so nurses and students understand what is expected of them
- employers to take a greater role in workforce planning and the need to directly link employer-led estimates of workforce directly to decisions over funding for staffing and training. New systems will be introduced during 2011/12
- consideration is being given to introducing a pilot programme to allow a junior nurse or midwife representative to sit with the trust board to give staff at a junior level the opportunity to express new ideas to decision makers and gain a wider understanding of the operation of the organisation
- subject to Parliamentary approval, the Government intends to appoint the Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence (CHRE) as the national accrediting body for assured voluntary registers covering groups which are currently not subject to statutory professional regulation
- the development of a model of school nursing that makes clear the key contribution of those nurses to the health of children and young people in the school and the wider community
- no reduction in midwifery training places during 2011/12. The Centre of Workforce Intelligence to monitor levels to ensure the right balance of numbers is achieved
- employers must implement policies supporting zero tolerance of direct threats to the physical safety of staff.
development of a system where the money for training follows the individual member of staff
- development of leadership fellowshipsfor nurses and midwives
- to support reserch careers provision of national funding to support for clinical and academic training schemes
Details of the full response to the Commissions report can be found on the Department of Health website.