Setting an example as technology leaders

The Chief Nursing Officer for England champions NHS Digital’s week long e-nursing campaign:

As we are all aware, any change undeniably brings pressure.

I see this when I visit hospitals, communities and educational institutions, as well as at events I attend and through the conversations I have on Twitter. But I also see teams and individuals dedicated to being adaptable and finding opportunities and innovative solutions.

In these instances, nursing, midwifery and care staff are setting an example to their colleagues, peers and other health and care colleagues by demonstrating ways of leading effective change by empowering individuals and people in a range of different ways.

Starting today, NHS Digital is leading a week long campaign to highlight some of the areas in which nursing, midwifery and care staff are using technology to help transform health and care.

This supports the RCN ‘every nurse an e-nurse’ campaign, which aligns closely with the national framework for nursing, midwifery and care staff ‘Leading Change, Adding Value’, and particularly commitment 10: ‘championing the use of technology and informatics to improve practice, address unwarranted variation and enhance outcomes.’

This year, my CNO Summit was aligned to the 10 commitments in Leading Change, Adding Value and was centred on four themes of innovation and improvement, leadership excellence, culture, personalisation and experience.

A session on digital transformation and information, particularly the leadership role of nursing, midwifery and care staff in this area was extremely well received. A panel of strategic and frontline leaders discussed the transformational benefits of technology and the key role of nursing, midwifery and care staff, whatever their role, leading, developing and using technology in all care settings.

Interesting debate was had on areas such as the challenges of interoperability, especially in relation to community services, digital and data literacy, the need for a common nursing language, and checking that local information governance rules were regularly reviewed to avoid any unnecessary obstruction to the implementation and use of technology.

The need to ensure that nursing, midwifery and care staff are involved from an early stage in ensuring that digital applications provide the relevant and appropriate pathways of care for individuals was also advocated by colleagues currently involved in large scale implementation work. An ambition to be involved was echoed by all delegates.

The Next Steps Five Year Forward View has a separate chapter on Harnessing Technology and Innovation. It reiterates the NHS need to leverage the potential of technology and innovation, supporting individuals to take an active role in their own health and care while also enabling NHS staff and care colleagues to do their jobs – such as having instant access to patient records from wherever they are, or to remote advice from specialists.

Over the last year, we have worked hard with a large number of organisations to ensure that health and care sectors work together in partnership to implement the LCAV framework and we continue to communicate with front line staff.

I would encourage you all to get involved in this week long campaign, think about how you can become or develop as an e-nurse and take time to look at some great examples of how nursing, midwifery and care staff have led change, reduced unwarranted variation and delivered the ‘Triple Aim’ outcomes. Whether you have been involved in leading and developing the use of technology or not, there is always an opportunity for you to make change happen.

For more information on the framework for nursing, midwifery and care staff, visit the Leading Change, Adding Value web pages and follow us on Twitter @6CsLive, #Lead2Add.

Jane Cummings

Professor Jane Cummings is the Chief Nursing Officer for England and Executive Director at NHS England.

Jane specialised in emergency care and has held a wide variety of roles across the NHS including Director of Commissioning, Director of Nursing and Deputy Chief Executive.

In February 2004, she became the national lead for emergency care agreeing and implementing the 98% operational standard. She has also worked as the nursing advisor for emergency care. In January 2005, she was appointed as the National Implementation Director for ‘Choice’ and ‘Choose and Book’.

Jane moved to NHS North West in November 2007 where she held executive responsibility for the professional leadership of nursing, quality, performance as well as QIPP, commissioning and for a time Deputy Chief Executive Officer. In October 2011, she was appointed to the role of Chief Nurse for the North of England SHA Cluster.

She was appointed as Chief Nursing Officer for England in March 2012 and started full time in June 2012. Jane is the professional lead for all nurses and midwives in England (with the exception of public health) and published the ‘6Cs’ and ‘Compassion in Practice’ in December 2012, followed by publishing the ‘Leading Change, Adding Value’ framework in May 2016.

Jane has executive oversight of maternity, patient experience, learning disability and, in January 2016, became executive lead for Patient and Public Participation.

She was awarded Doctorates by Edge Hill University and by Bucks New University, and she is a visiting professor at Kingston University and St George’s University, London.

She is also Director and trustee for Macmillan Cancer Support and a clinical Ambassador for the Over the Wall Children’s Charity where she volunteers as a nurse providing care for children affected by serious illnesses.

Follow Jane on Twitter: @JaneMCummings.