England’s chief nursing officer Professor Jane Cummings has outlined the challenges she believes the nursing profession will face over the next five years at the annual CNO summit, taking place in Birmingham today (14 March).
In her opening speech to senior nursing, midwifery and care leaders from across the country, Professor Cummings said that there would be a million more people over the age of 65 by 2020, with over 7,000 people over 100 years old.
Addressing this, she said: ‘If we value our remarkable NHS, then we need to reshape it for a population size and age profile it wasn’t designed to deal with.’
She used her speech to highlight the success of the ‘Compassion in Practice’ and ‘Leading Change, Adding Value’ initiatives, which have launched during her tenure as CNO for England.
Professor Cummings said: ‘When it comes to commissioning and providing services, Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) are the best way for us to demonstrate real leadership and focus on doing the right things that deliver safety and the triple aim of good care, improved health and lower cost.’
Addressing the funding crisis in the NHS she said: ‘Demand is rising and budgets continue to be tight, every penny and resource has to count.’
However, she praised nurses everywhere for coping with this crisis during the winter months, saying: ‘We can be proud of how the NHS has coped over the winter and in recent times. Working with tight resources has required tenacity and flexibility which I have seen on the front line.’
Looking to the year ahead and Brexit, Professor Cummings voiced her support for nurses and midwives in the NHS who come from EU countries saying ‘Colleagues from the EU face an uncertain future in coming months. They will need our support. They help represent the communities we care for and we will continue to make them welcome.’