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Changes to professional development

02 June 2016
3 min read
Volume 24 · Issue 6

The daily headlines of challenges facing the NHS are cause for concern and familiar to many (Kirk, 2015). Working within the confines of the NHS, nurses and midwives are central to these discussions and best placed to clarify any misconceptions the public may have; perhaps more importantly, nurses and midwives can be the voice of an overstretched service. For the first time, we have seen both junior doctors and midwives undertake industrial action to make public their concerns about the service, which has been met with differing opinion. While no one wishes to see the care of individuals being adversely affected, perhaps the time is right to take a stand against the continual cuts to resources.

Meanwhile, there are specific challenges in relation to specialist areas of maternity and neonatal service provision. One issue is that NHS Trusts have just been informed that continuing professional development (CPD) funding has been reduced—in some cases by 40%—and that all allocation should be based on clinical priority. This announcement has caused concern for both clinical managers and educators, who need to advocate lifelong learning to the workforce as part of the appraisal process. The Nursing and Midwifery Council has recently launched the revalidation process, which complements appraisals by encouraging clinicians to continue and give evidence of professional development. In an era of uncertainties, the reduction in CPD could undermine these processes.

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