The supervisory ward manager’s role: progress on Compassion in Practice action area four
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The supervisory ward manager’s role: progress on Compassion in Practice action area four

Paul Regan
Sarah Shillitoe
Posted 28 September 2017

In 2012, the Department of Health published Compassion in Practice, which included six areas for action. Action area four suggests that ward managers and leaders should be supervisory, and not included in ward staff numbers. The recommendation has recently been changed to promote black and minority ethnic (BME) leadership in the NHS. This article examines the literature on supervisory nurse leader roles between 2007 and 2017 to identify what, if any, progress has been made.

Although supervisory status can improve care at ward level, and was endorsed by the Francis Report, it seems that few care providers in England have invested in this, possibly because it is voluntary, rather than a statutory requirement. The article argues that, rather than focusing on BME leadership, commissioners and providers should consider implementing the original action four to support the lessons learned in the Francis Report.