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Sam Foster

Chief Nurse, Oxford University Hospitals

What do we mean by accountability?

‘The professions we regulate have different knowledge and skills … They can work in diverse contexts and have different levels of autonomy and responsibility. However, all of the professions we...

Why we all need to speak up

‘In the NHS, we sensed a lack of psychological safety to speak up and listen, despite the excellent progress made since the Francis Report. We would observe that the Freedom to Speak Up initiative...

Practice hours: examining the evidence

This month, I joined a panel to discuss NHS England's NHS Long Term Workforce Plan (NHS England, 2023). The chair of the panel welcomed the plan, highlighting that significant funding was available to...

Striking the right balance

I have been building a list of things I would like to have known when I was a chief nurse that I have learnt since joining the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), to enable me to work with colleagues...

Defining the scope of advanced practice

‘It is difficult to define what the scope of practice should be for these new groups of practitioners because roles evolve on a continual basis. Seeking ever more narrow definitions of practice may...

We need to support those who speak up, for everyone's safety

‘Act without delay if you believe that there is a risk to patient safety or public protection.’

Unpicking disproportionate referrals

The need to take action relating to the known issue of disproportionate referrals to the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) of certain groups of registrants has been one of the live areas of...

Raising the profile of nurse leadership

With no formal career path into nurse leadership identified, ENDs shared the view that shadowing senior roles was one example of invaluable support, referencing role models who were crucial to...

A global approach to workforce issues

‘Midwife and nurse graduates match or surpass health system demand and have the requisite knowledge, competencies and attitudes to meet national health priorities.’ .

Taking action on discrimination

‘There was a constant repetition of placement areas for me and many of my cohort. The placement team seemed unable to ensure a broad and balanced experience for students and were unwilling to look...

A focus on fitness to practise: reducing inappropriate referrals

Whoever I speak to professionally since joining the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), despite the many areas that I want to share with colleagues – such as plans to scope whether or not advanced...

Updating the standards should not mean moving the goalposts

‘There's a push to get as many nurses through as possible. I despair, the reason a [nurses' degree] programme is three [years] is because this is how we are regulated. The change in education that is...

The status of nurses in social care

‘From the nurse in a complex care at home provision who drives a multifaceted approach to bring people with complex health and care needs home. To the nursing associate who has led an initiative to...

A more international register means we need to support all our nurses

‘Turning off the taps to international recruitment is just not feasible nor desirable for the NHS. Our health services rely on overseas nurses, who on average stay longer with the NHS than their...

Join the debate on advanced practice

Beech et al (2019) published findings from research undertaken at The Nuffield Trust, outlining several high-impact interventions. These, if put into action, could help improve the workforce crisis.

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