Safe staffing for community nurses is still in development, said Chief Nursing Officer Jane Cummings.
Speaking today at the Queen's Nursing Institute (QNI) annual conference Ms Cummings acknowledged that the nurses in attendance would want to hear an update on safe staffing work. She said that there would be an update released on the work that had been going on soon.
Ms Cummings said that there were a number of groups representing the different nursing streams (learning disability, adult, mental health and children) which would look at the best ways of setting safe staffing levels for each group. She said that not only would there be a group looking specifically at community nursing but that the community nursing element would be incorporated within each group as 'community nursing is a part of all of these groups.'
As NICE had already released final guidelines for safe staffing in midwifery, Ms Cummings said that she and her team would decide whether to develop further work on this based on the outcomes of the current maternity services review, which is being led by Baroness Cumberledge.
Ms Cummings also said that the work would not be restricted to nurses but would have a multi-professional approach taking allied health professionals and doctors into account.
The CNO also announced that NHS England was working on a framework for commissioning nursing. The framework will deliver an insight into community nursing, will detail how to commission to the right level and will encourage better commissioning of district and community nurses she said. No date was given for the release of this framework.
Commissioning was a clear theme at the conference with Louise Patten, chief officer and registered nurse at NHS Aylesbury Vale CCG, addressing the need for more nurses to take on commissioning roles. She asked the delegates how many were involved in commissioning and around 25% put up their hands. When asked how many believed that nurses should be more involved in commissioning, significantly more number of the delegates raised their hands.