Headlines: October 5th, 2009

Nurses and midwives are to be given a leading role in transforming the quality of care within the NHS. A report from the Prime Minister’s Commission on the Future of Nursing and Midwifery has proposed that they will take centre stage in all aspects of health care.

This vision of the future has been agreed by the Commission following a detailed consultation exercise, which gathered views from professionals and the public. The Commission has also identified ten ‘hot topics’ which members want to debate further. They include the need to address the confusion over roles and title of nurses and midwives and the role of nurses and midwives in putting service users in charge of their own care.

To further this debate the Commission is asking for more views on nursing care and midwifery both on its initial vision and the ten topics with a second phase of consultation over the next two months. There will be a series of meetings with nurses and midwives and other stakeholders as well as public events and a chance for people to make their opinions known through the Commission’s website. A final report will then be published in the New Year.

The Health Minister, Ann Keen, who chairs the Commission said nurses and midwives were ordinary people who did extraordinary things and they had a great deal of untapped potential waiting to be unleashed. “The majority of nurses and midwives already do a fantastic job working with people who use NHS service, families and communities to care for the sick, promote health and well being, prevent illness and relieve suffering. Yet they could be even more effective,” she added.