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Commission on nursing's future holds first meeting

Health Minister Ann Keen chaired the first meeting of the Commission on the Future of Nursing and Midwifery yesterday (Tuesday 28 April 2009).

The Commission, consisting of leading experts in the field of nursing, was set up to identify skills and support that frontline nurses and midwives need, to identify any barriers that impede the pivotal role that nurses provide and to identify the potential and benefits for nurses and midwives – particularly in primary and community care – leading and managing their own services.

The Commission is also to consider how to build on nurses' expanding roles to help them contribute even further to delivering high-quality healthcare.

At the first meeting, the Commission considered how the NHS Constitution linked to the role of nurses and midwives, identified the Commission's priorities for the coming months and discussed its vital role in engaging with the patients, public and the professions.

Ann Keen (pictured) said: "As a nurse, I know that nurses and midwives are at heart of our health service providing patients with safe, compassionate and high-quality care. Their roles are evolving to include greater responsibilities, including prescribing, referring patients to other healthcare professionals and delivering community services. I was privileged to Chair the first meeting of the Commission and Midwifery today."

The Commission will be engaging with the profession, patients and the public in a series of local and national events in the next few months. It will then report to the prime minister by March 2010.

Department of Health

Your comments (terms and conditions apply):

"There have been numerous commissions over the year, arguably nothing much has been achieved. Whatever happened to the Royal Commission on the long-term care of the elderly?? I would like to see the NMC doing what they are supposed to be doing and protecting the public. They are not doing this at
the present time. Also nurse education should return to its rightful place ie, at the bedside, not in a remote university, with remote lecturers. Nurse education is NOT FIT FOR PURPOSE." - Judith Allen, South Wales

"Hopefully something useful will come out of this especially if
patients/service users are asked thier opinion." - Kathy French, London