Jane Cummings, Chief Nursing Officer England, looks ahead to tomorrow’s launch of the revised professional Code for nurses and midwives.
This year marks 33 years since I first joined the register of nurses and midwives, which is now regulated by the Nursing and Midwifery Council, and agreed to abide by the Code of professional standards of practice and behaviour.
Tomorrow marks a step change in our code, which will support revalidation.
The revision follows extensive consultation, as a response to changes and developments in practice, and wider expectations of health and care staff. The requirements apply not only to nurses and midwives involved in direct care-giving roles, but to all in leadership, education, research and policy.
The Code reflects the fundamentals of care which patients have told us they expect. The four themes are:
- Prioritise people
- Practice effectively
- Preserve safety
- Promote professionalism and trust
New sections include a focus on the professional duty of candour and a responsibility to raise concerns. This is timely, as whistleblowing has been the subject of considerable attention recently.
I encourage you to read and use the Code as a basis for your work and to see the revalidation requirements as a positive opportunity to consider how you are making continuous improvements in the quality and safety of care, and to support your ongoing development. Every day I see great examples of the difference our professions are making to so many, and how much this is appreciated. The revalidation exercise will enable us all to give this the thought and time it deserves. By preparing well, collecting evidence and reflecting on your 450 hours of practice and 40 hours of continuous professional development, you will see benefits for you, your colleagues and patients.
I endorse the revised Code not only as a nurse and Chief Nursing Officer for England, but because I see how the standards in it reflect the 6Cs and place patients, whom we are privileged to serve, at the heart of all we do.