Nurses ready to take on commissioning role

HSMC's Yvonne Sawbridge is a founder member of the NHS Alliance Nurses in Commissioning Network, which recently published two papers about the contribution nurses can bring to commissioning and public health. The NHS Alliance recently issued the following press release:

Unless policy-makers take active steps to ensure that the rhetoric of clinically-led commissioning reflects a multi-professional approach that put nurses at the heart of commissioning and delivery, the potential to improve health care for patients will not be realised, says Nurses in Commissioning Network.

According to Involving Nurses in Commissioning: How to Get it Right and Nurses and the Wider Public Health Agenda – two new reports published today by the NHS Alliance’s Nurses in Commissioning Network – nurses must be fully empowered and engaged in both clinical commissioning and health care delivery.

“Nurses have a particular contribution not least to emphasis on clinical outcomes,” states Involving Nurses in Commissioning. “Overall, it is a fundamental part of their job to bring a patient- and family/carer-focused perspective and voice to the information that is needed to inform commissioning decisions. They often play a pivotal role in co-ordinating care in a manner that is centred on the patient, keeps the patient safe, achieves the best outcomes and gives the best experience. This is a crucial skill set for commissioners.”

Both reports contain recommendations to help CCGs and the wider system to support nurses’ involvement in commissioning as well as public health.

Ursula Gallagher, lead for Nurses in Commissioning Network, said: “Nurses have a massive contribution to make. They are already at the forefront of delivering health improvement whether as specialist public health practitioners or as part of everyday care. It will not be possible for the NHS to realise its full potential in terms of health care improvement for patients without creating mechanisms that allow nurses to be fully involved.”

The Nurses in Commissioning Network will continue to grow and offer practical support and expertise to nurses and CCGs. Both reports were officially launched at the NHS Alliance’s 14th annual conference in Manchester.

Report: Involving Nurses in Commissioning: How to get it right (pdf)
Report: Nurses and the Wider Public Health Agenda (pdf)