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CNO Summit

At last week’s CNO Summit for Chief Nurses and senior leaders, Ruth May, the Chief Nursing Officer for England, announced that she will be taking over professional leadership of public health nursing which includes health visiting and school nursing; this is wonderful news for our professions! We have lacked professional leadership since the retirement of Viv Bennet as Chief public health nurse nearly a year ago and have constantly raised this as a glaring hole, particularly as our workforce depletes against a rising tide of need and widening inequalities

Dame Ruth said:

“You will have heard me say before that health visitors and school nurses sit outside my portfolio and how this has saddened me. So today I’m extremely happy to share that this is changing.

“I look forward to gaining professional leadership for the specialist public health nursing and midwifery workforce including health visiting, school nursing, occupational health and health promotion. It’s really exciting.”

We are delighted to have worked with Team CNO on the forthcoming new Vision for nursing and midwifery, due for publication any time soon. We look forward to continued working to turn this Vision into reality

Protecting our planet

Prevention, protection, promotion and reducing health inequalities.

Person-centred care

Public and patient safety

Professional leadership and integration.

With two additional areas:

Professional culture

People and workforce development.

Dame Ruth May outlined that:

“The past few years have made it abundantly clear that our professions play a critical public health role. However, there is much more that we should, and can, do to support people to have the best start in life – and to live a longer, healthier and happier life. That is why one of the ‘P’s in my new Vision is to focus on ‘Prevention, protection, promotion and reducing health inequalities’. It will be essential that we maximise the public health impact of our entire professions…..We also need to ensure that we have the right capacity and capability in our specialist public health workforce, such as health visitors, school nurses, health protection nurses and those working in occupational health, and inclusion health services. That is why I am pleased to see that the Long-Term Workforce Plan has made a commitment to increasing the training places ..There is still fire in me to do more!”

It was also heartening to hear the NHSE Youth Board laud the urgent need for more school nursing services and for the messages on prevention and early help to be acknowledged and recognised!

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