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"Together we Care" is the name and ethos behind our new nursing and midwifery strategy, which sets the vision and direction of nursing and midwifery care at our hospitals.

At the end of 2012 the government launched a new national vision and strategy, centred around six values of care, compassion, competence, communication, courage and commitment.

Chief Nurse Suzanne Rankin explains: “We want our strategy to incorporate the focus of the six ‘C’s but also to reflect our own priorities and aspirations. Every day in our hospitals we see examples of excellent patient care but there is always more we can do and as a team, I want all our nurses and midwives to aspire to provide the best nursing and midwifery care to every patient, every time.”

Unsurprisingly, much of the strategy talks about safe care, professional competency, kindness, respect and understanding, but there is also an increasing focus on personal responsibility, strong leadership and developing a culture of openness and honesty.

Suzanne adds: “In the light of reports such as Mid Staffordshire, transparency and responsibility have rightly become hot topics in the NHS and we want to make those values ‘real’ at Ashford and St Peter’s.

A key element is ensuring that staff feel confident to challenge and speak up, whatever their position and grade.”

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