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Welcome to my first blog!

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I want to use this blog as a way of keeping people updated and getting your views on developments in nursing, midwifery and care. I want to highlight the vital roles nurses and midwives play in improving the public's health through the work that we do every day – from "making every contact count"  through to specialist community public health nursing.  I have been on some fantastic visits to see you work from clinics to construction sites and hope to be invited to more interesting health-promoting places.

Along with Jane Cummings, CNO based in the NHS Commissioning Board,  I am  leading on a new vision and strategy for nurses, midwives and care-givers and we would like your views - see ‘Developing a Compassionate Culture: Vision and Strategy for Nurses Midwives and Care-givers’.

We will be talking to many of you face to face and through professional and social media to get your views. The vision is built on the ‘6Cs – care, compassion, competence, communication, courage, and commitment –  and 6 areas for action in all settings. I have a particular lead for public health  and for social care and look forward to making new contacts with nurses and care-givers in these sectors.

We are very interested in nursing and midwifery being enabled by  good information and modern technology.  A recent  Twitter thread asked… imagine what we could do as nurses and midwives if we had technology to support practice that we have in other parts of our lives. The conversation highlighted some great thinking and practice.  I'll be talking about them here soon

I'll also be sharing links and resources  and would really appreciate your feedback. You can comment here, or on Twitter, so get in touch and  share your views.

For Twitter people or those thinking of tweeting – I am @vivjbennett and it would be great if you would like to follow me.

Viv Bennett


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  1. Comment by Julie Vuolo posted on

    In 30 years of nursing this is the first time I have ever felt that I can directly contribute to and influence the way that nursing develops in the future because the nurses at the top are reaching out to the profession in such a direct and accessible way. Social media has opened a door for nurses to walk through together into a new future, and I for one feel very positive about the possibilities that this new way of working brings us. I will be encouraging all of my students to follow you both on twitter and to get in on the conversations whatever their viewpoint. I think the buzz about the 6cs is brilliant, they provide great discussion points in class too.

    • Replies to Julie Vuolo>

      Comment by Viv Bennett posted on

      Thank you so much for your rapid and supportive response. Completely agree that developing nursing is a conversation for the profession so really hoping blog and Twitter provides usual part of that conversation.

  2. Comment by Gill Phillips - Whose Shoes? posted on

    I love the 6 Cs approach to transformation. Care, compassion, competence, communication, courage, and commitment... how good is that?

    Welcome to the exciting world of blogging, Viv, and I look forward to following developments here.

    I have been running an extended "in my shoes" guest blog series, looking at dementia from different perspectives. It has been an amazing way of networking, raising awareness and showcasing some powerful examples of practice, both good and bad. If you haven't already seen it, take a look and perhaps have a word with your DH colleague, Anna Hepburn who has been very supportive. 🙂

  3. Comment by Rob Fraser MN RN posted on

    I agree with @anniecoops - this is great to see nursing leaders sharing what they are working on. As a nurse in Canada I'm looking forward to hearing about how your work is going and what directions the NHS takes. We are always learning from each other.

  4. Comment by Viv Bennett posted on

    Many thanks for the rapid and supportive responses. Developing nursing and midwifery is a conversation for all in the professions and really excited to see how blog/s and Twitter already contributing and the potential social media holds for the future!

  5. Comment by Patrick Keady posted on

    Thank you Viv for starting the blog - it will be of interest to Nurses, and everyone interested in improving the quality of health services.

  6. Comment by Dee Harley posted on

    Hi Viv,

    I am a first year adult nursing student and I am just about to embark on an essay about the the 6Cs of healthcare and I would greatly appreciate any help that you could give me with this ie articles, websites and such. As a student I feel that all future nurses would benefit greatly by adhering to the 6 Cs.

    Kind regards


  7. Comment by Colette O'Kane posted on

    For your information the NHS Leadership Academy is in the process of designing a nurse and midwifery leadership development programme. The new vision and strategy will be at the core. We are seeking as many views as possible to help shape a programme that really meets the needs of nursing and midwifery today. If you would like to contribute, here is the link to more information and a place to post your comments.

  8. Comment by Joi posted on

    I do trust all the ideas you've offered on your post. They're very convincing and can definitely work. Nonetheless, the posts are too brief for novices. Could you please prolong them a bit from subsequent time? Thank you for the post.

  9. Comment by Cyril posted on

    Hi Viv,

    What would you say about the opinion that the 6 Cs are natural attributes of those drawn to care work, and that to remind nurses of them in an official statement could be seen as an insult?

    Secondly, those staff who are guilty of complacency and having poor attitudes are presumably less likely to speedily adopt any new mentality encouraged in a top-down initiative. Since these are the people whose care really needs to be addressed, how will the 6 Cs move be effective?

    It's very kind of you to make yourself available for conversation like this. I appreciate your openness, thank you.

    • Replies to Cyril>

      Comment by nwaterman posted on

      Dear Cyril
      Thank you for taking the time to comment. What nurses told us was that whilst they could talk in general terms about good nursing there was not a clear and consistent way to describe this to people. In the work which CNO and I jointly developed, we asked many nurses, midwives and care and support workers to describe key attributes of excellence in care. We then used what they said to design and re-test something that we hoped would be easy to remember and easy to use to have local discussions about nursing midwifery and care. The response was largely very positive and thus the final 6Cs were adopted.
      As to whether they are natural attributes – people have different views and perhaps different thoughts on each of the 6Cs – so for instance we can definitely teach competence and communication skills but this needs to be based on values about care and compassion.
      The 6Cs should be seen as anchor points with which to cross-check the work we do and the initiatives and policies we develop and to ensure they are aligned to those values and behaviours we all recognise and hold dear but that modern life sometimes means we can take our eye off. The 6Cs are only a small element of the Compassion in Practice strategy and are not intended as a panacea in themselves. There are six action areas for the strategy being worked on, one of which (Action Area 4) is about building and strengthening leadership. It is through this work that we hope to make an impact in the areas you raise and through the support of experienced nurses and midwives who can call upon the values and behaviours that attracted them into the profession to guide and influence their colleagues.