Published on 30 November 2022, by Dr Natasha Phillips
The week began with Dr Jeanette Ives Erickson flying in from the USA, who I was delighted to host. Despite being on many calls, it dawned on me that this was the first in person meeting of Phillips and Ives!
Just being in Jeanette's presence you could see the important role she plays as International Co-Chair of the Phillips Ives Nursing and Midwifery Review, offering a breadth of experience in professionalising informatics into nursing and midwifery.
Attending the CNO Summit
Towards the end of the visit, we, along with Tracey Eyre, Programme Lead for the Review, attended the CNO Summit, where both Jeanette and I were scheduled to speak.
Arriving at the event in London you felt the excitement, as for the first time in over two years colleagues were meeting in person. The room buzzed with anticipation, ready to hear the latest developments across nursing.
Ruth May, CNO for England started the two-days interviewing NHS England Chief Executive Amanda Pritchard.
It was fantastic to hear Amanda acknowledge the NHS receiving the George Cross, and recognising the nursing workforce for their ability to be flexible during the pandemic, and continuing to deliver care.
Amanda recognised the value that digital innovation provides, making mention of virtual wards, remote monitoring, and other tech enabled models to enable recovery.
Ruth then launched the start of the work on the CNO strategy, which will set out the direction of travel and ambitions for the profession over the next three to five years.
This is an important piece of work, and I envision the outcomes of the Phillips Ives Review will inform these findings.
To support this work, I encourage all nursing and midwifery colleagues to get involved in the consultation by completing this survey that will help influence the strategy.
What role can digital play across nursing?
As other sessions took place, I thought about the role that digital has and could play.
The Genomics session was inspiring as we heard how it’s been applied to ovarian and breast cancer services, and this is an area that can be enhanced by digital innovation.
The Phillips Ives Review has a panel looking at Genomics, asking questions around the role of the nurse in this important work to gather data in effective IT systems and organisation structures.
It was fantastic to see the CNO Research strategy on the agenda, which has the fifth theme looking at Digitally enabled nurse-led research.
Digital and data has a lot of potential to accelerate the pace of nurse-led research, and we’ve started work to drive this forward, by building a community of nurse researchers eager to utilise the power of digital technology.
Building a workforce for the future: an international perspective
Jeanette shared her international perspective as part of the panel ‘Building and maintaining our nursing and midwifery workforce – for now and for the future.’
The audience hung on every word as Jeanette talked about the moral distress the workforce faced during and after the COVID pandemic, working incredibly hard to provide care for patients at such a difficult time with the available resources.
She invited the room to be more compassionate about themselves, recognise the impact we make, and reminding us that we are the most trusted profession.
We heard about Jeanette’s experiences setting up a field hospital in Boston during this time, echoing the sentiments felt by NHS staff who were responsible for getting the Nightingale hospitals up and running.
As International Vice-Chair she introduced the work of the Phillips Ives Review and its importance relating to educating the workforce in digital to this senior nurse leadership audience.
Digital nursing's contribution to continuous improvement
Then we had my session ‘Continuous Improvement and digital transformation: now and next steps.’
Although I’ve spoken hundreds of times on the big stage, I still get nervous in situations like this, so many peers I respect, so many still not quite familiar or bought into the digital transformation message.
And today it was down to myself to represent the voice of digital nurses and midwives – to give justice to my peers for all the great work they’re doing, while being able to emphasise the importance of our agenda.
Some in the crowd you may refer to as the digital enthusiasts, those ready and willing to adopt digital. The rest were more the digitally curious (or digitally cautious!) – unaware of the potential digital change offers to care and the way we work.
I used the time as an opportunity to highlight the fantastic work being done in digital nursing, building up communities like the Chief Nursing Informatics Officers (CNIO) network and Digital Shared Decision Making Council, the progress being made on the Guidance for Nursing on What Good Looks Like, and the important role the Phillips Ives Review will play in continuous improvement, ensuring we define the training needs to adapt.
I announced that the outcomes of the Review will be published in 2023, showing the direction we must take.
The challenge is to get buy-in, not just to attendees of the CNO summit, but across healthcare, as everyone will have a role to play in our digital future:
Centrally designed – regionally led – locally delivered
That is why the Phillips Ives Review matters, defining 5, 10, 20 years down the line how we go about educating and train our nursing and midwifery workforce.
Thank you for your support!
Dr Natasha Phillips
Chief Nursing Information Officer for England.
Dr Natasha Phillips is the Chief Nursing Information Officer for England. In her role she works as the Head of the Digital Nursing Profession at the directive of the Chief Nurse Office to lead and develop the nursing and midwifery workforce, ensuring they are equipped to use data and technology, now and in the future. Dr Phillips has held operational and strategic leadership positions in the NHS. She has led large transformational programmes of change, involving the use of digital technologies and informatics. She was responsible for the implementation of an enterprise-wide electronic health record at University College Hospitals London. Dr Phillips is an Alumni of the Florence Nightingale Foundation, a qualified organisational development practitioner, and an honorary Research Fellow at University College London. Her research interests include digital enabled nursing, organisational design, and clinical leadership. In 2022, Dr Phillips was recognised by the Health Service Journal, appearing on their Wildcards list, for influencing national policy. Passionate about developing nurses with the skills to lead in complexity; Natasha's thesis on ward leadership highlights the need to develop the skills of reflexivity amongst nurse leaders to support their leadership practice.