Date of release: 25 March 2021
As we reflect on a year of COVID-19, I am going to touch on two major points in this blog. Firstly, I have decided to write a personal letter of thanks to all nursing staff at the Trust for their outstanding commitment and dedication over the last 12 months. We have all been through a challenging time, one which none of us have encountered before. It’s been overwhelming, exhausting and stressful at times, but we have also found how courageous, strong and resilient we can be, as well as being flexible and adaptable to new ways of working.
You will hopefully be receiving my letter to your home addresses in the coming weeks, so please look out for that. Accompanying it will be some literature on health and wellbeing, signposting you to the various areas of support available, which you are welcome to take advantage of if you feel the need.
Secondly, with services starting to return to normal, we can start to move forward. As we emerge from the pandemic, I am very pleased to write about the recently-launched new Clinical System Framework (CSF). The CSF, which replaces the Nursing System Framework, is a detailed, two-year strategy of how nurses, midwives, health visitors and allied health professionals (AHPs) want to develop our services.
By now, those staff groups mentioned above should have their copies of the strategy. The main difference with the CSF and its predecessor is the addition of allied health professionals (AHPs) to this strategic plan, and, with their input and collaboration, the framework is stronger. Collaboration between midwives, nurses, health visitors and now AHPs will create new opportunities to improve care to our patients. In addition, many of the excellence in care topics rely on collaboration with our medical colleagues as well.
Contained within the CSF booklet are the six foundation blocks with detailed and specific milestone plans covering the next two years for each – workforce, culture and structure, excellence in care, education, communication, and research and innovation. These are all interdependent. The CSF has the real potential to have a significant and positive impact on patient outcomes and experiences and a progressive impact on the development of our workforce.
Many staff members contributed to the CSF as it was developed. We discussed and refined the plan at a special senior nurse and AHP planning session in October 2020. So it really has a very organic feel as we focus on the topics that will make the most difference to our patients.
There is also an emphasis on measuring what we do, because using data to capture how we are performing is fundamental to making improvements. With timely data, we can understand our impact and make corrections if intended milestones are not being met, and most importantly learn. I look forward to working with the CSF, together with my team and colleagues at RWT.