Community Practitioners' and Health Visitors' Association

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CPHVA Northern Ireland - Response to the Consultation on Local Body for Nurses, Midwives and Health Visitors - August 2000

 
The CPHVA welcomes the opportunity to respond to the consultation on a Local Body for Nurses, Midwives and Health Visitors. A wide consultation of members has taken place in preparation of this response.
 
Responses are set out under the chapter headings of the consultation document to facilitate ease of reference.
 
Consultation Overview
It is recognised that there is a clear need for a discrete body to undertake a range of functions in relation to the Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting professions in each of the four countries.
 
We welcome the primary aim of putting public protection as paramount in this new body. This will be achieved by putting in place a strategic framework which encompasses a public health approach to meet changes in primary health and social care delivery.
 
Four functions are identified in which the new body might play a supporting role:
These functions outlined in the document are welcomed as indeed are the four functions mentioned in pages 8,9 and10 provided the guiding principles are strictly adhered to.
 
We note that a name for this new local body has not been proposed in the document. We strongly reccommend that the name of this new body should reflect each of the registrant groups that it represents. We therefore reccommend that the name Nursing Midwifery and Health Visiting should be included in the title.
Categories of Functions:
Education
The CPHVA recognise the importance of the local body having input to the education and training of practitioners to reflect local need particularly in light of the devolution context.
 
The document sets out examples of proposed functions :
Regulate education development. This is related to post-registration specifically and is broadly welcomed. However it needs to be developed in tandem with the other three countries so that any new developments in practitioner qualification is recognised and transferable in all of the home countries.
 
Quality assurance.This is an integral part of the function of the new Regulatory Body and should be achieved by incorporating the standards of employers ,educational establishments and professions into a common system to reduce duplication and enhance public protection. The local body has a role to play in achieving this because of itís knowledge of local need. If the local body is to have a credible role in assuring Fitness for Purpose and Practice then it must ensure that each of the three registrant groups are represented on it.
 
Independant accreditation of clinical placements. Clearly this is the role of the educational establishment concerned, to be able to make decisions about suitable clinical placements for their students. In the event of complaints, there may be a role for the local body to investigate such complaints and make reccommendarions as is deemed necessary in the circumstances.
 
Approval of the provision of teacher training. Although this is primarily a function of the NMC there may be a role for the local body to ensure that Community Practice Teachers are professionally quualified to teach those students assigned to them and that their role is recognised and renumerated accordingly.
 
Collaboration with the home countries and other jurasdictions. This function is welcomed and is essential to ensure the transferability of professional roles within the countries.
 
Collaboration with the Post Graduate Medical Council and the Proposed Social Care Council.This is welcomed in principle, particularly in relation to collaborating on the development of multiprofessional training initiatives.
 
Practice
Monitoring ongoing development of nursingand midwifery specialities, taking into account, changes in practice and service need.
 
There is no mention of developing health visiting and school nursing roles.With the increasing emphasis on Public Health, it is important that the role of school nurses and health visitors are developed to meet this emerging agenda. Emphasis has been placed by recent White Papers in England on the need for school nurses to take a lead role in child and adolescent public health. In order to achieve this objective, school nurses need to have their roles developed along the reccommendations set out in the School Nursing Framework Document. If Health Visitors are to develop the Family Centred Public Health role envisaged in the Sure Start initiative and in the English White Paper Supporting Families training will need to be developed accordingly. A local body could encourage and monitor this development.
 
Performance
Clinical and social care governance. There is a need for further clarity in relation to how this can be achieved particularly using a multiprofessional approach. The emphasis on supporting a clinical supervision system for nurses is welcomed.
 
General Functions
Raising fees would not be acceptable to most nurses who already pay a substantial amount to the Regulatory Body.
 
The regulation of support workers is welcomed.
 
Nature of Body
We reccommend that the the new local body should be an Independant Statutory Body. This would ensure a degree of independance incorporating government nominees and a transparent selection process which represents each registrant group.
 
Conclusion
The CPHVA look forward to a further consultation process when the initial framework for the local body is put in place. We wish to reiterate our view that a representative from each of the three regisrtant groups should be involved in the decisioning making process in setting up the local body.
 


Professional Officer, CPHVA Northern Ireland

November 2000

 
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