Policy matters

Nursing and midwifery leadership includes working with partners across systems and pathways, and at the point of care, with both equally important. Expert leadership of clinical and operational improvement is a core skill which every nurse and midwife has in leading change and transforming care.

However, that voice and perspective which brings with it robust professional, contemporary and clinically relevant advice and knowledge has a huge opportunity to contribute and influence policy development and implementation. In doing so, we can maximise the professional contribution and leadership to both influencing and delivering change at national, regional and local levels across both health and care sectors.

As we are all aware, the last few months have seen significant change across the health and care system. In response to COVID-19, the system has developed new ways of working clinically, operationally and strategically at significant pace.

It is important that we understand the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on nursing and the opportunities to lock in positive innovations and changes as we move towards the ‘new normal’. We will work collectively across the system to help us, from a nursing perspective, think about the developments around clinical and service innovation and the impact on professional practice and the workforce. As we move into the next phase of our response to COVID-19 and planning for longer-term recovery and the ‘new normal’, there is a need to consider the impact of changes and lessons learnt over the last few months and ensure relevant changes are embedded or translated into wider policy, standards and new or updated guidance.

The CNO legacy work will consider the impacts of the relevant practice and professional work in response to COVID-19 from a nursing perspective, across key areas such as:

  • clinical innovation
  • service changes
  • professional practice.

We will consider and develop recommendations about how the broader impacts on the nursing profession are assessed and taken forward so that the profession makes its fullest contribution to recovery and delivery of the NHS Long Term Plan. This will inform CNO thought leadership in the development of the longer-term strategic direction for the profession.

A national Nursing and midwifery COVID-19 catalogue of change is being developed, derived from the point of care, which identifies and shares important learning and innovative practice to support the ongoing response, potential future surges and the development of nursing practice and collective leadership.

In conjunction with our commitment to research and evidence, we will collectively identify areas where longer-term research may be needed to understand the impacts on professional practice as part of the approach to the pandemic. This will provide nurse-led insight and evidence to inform a strategic approach to research priorities and the development of the CNO for England’s national strategy for supporting, developing and embedding research (2020-2022).

Aside from the legacy work, the CNO Policy team’s work focuses on government policies, opportunities and challenges across health and social care, sharing perspectives and publications from across the sectors including strategic transformation examples, and academic publications and briefings, to help provide a view of the policy landscape for health and social care.

If you would like to keep in touch, learn more about this work, or share with us activity underway locally to address restoration and transformation across the system, then we would be delighted to hear from you. This will help shape the wider transformation by ensuring there is expert nursing input and engagement. Please contact the team here: england.nursingpolicyteam@nhs.net

Several other webpages you may be interested in: