Thank you for all your nominations for the CPHVA Awards, which were of the highest quality. The ceremony took place on 13 March and provided a great opportunity to bring together community practitioners from across the UK and beyond.
Look out for a full report in the April issue of the journal, due out soon.
The biggest innovation on the site, launched today (7/11/2012), is our free online CPD (Continuing Professional Development) service. If you are a Unite/CPHVA member or a CP subscriber you can now earn CPD hours here, online, by reading the relevant article, answering the multiple-choice questions, completing the reflection section, then printing out a certificate, accredited by the CPD certification service for your hard-copy portfolio, or you can simply keep an online record in your online portfolio, also on this site.
The portfolio will also allow you to keep an online record of other CPD activities which you have undertaken, such as attending events, passing qualifications, or reading/watching relevant material - for which you will also record your reflections on how this can improve your practice.
At launch we have utilised the CP Journal supplement CPD, but going forward, we will have a CPD article uploaded to the website each month, ranging from clinical issues to administrative tasks.
To carry out your CPD online, you will need to log in with your membership or subscriber number - if you are a member, your name will automatically appear, if not you will need to enter your name, and use the same format every time you log on in future, plus you will use your existing password - then you have access to any restricted content on the site.
Also new on the site is the opening of Awards nominations for the CPHVA 2013 Awards. We were delighted with the response to this year's event and so we are repeating the exercise, recognising the often unsung heroines (or heros) of the profession.
Another new element is this blog itself, to be updated on a regular basis between issues of Community Practitioner - combining with CP tweets and facebook postings to ensure we engage with you, the membership, via whatever media you find most useful. And engagement is a two-way process, so feel free to tweet back, re-tweet, post comments, 'Like', or simply send an email or letter to myself at:Polly.firstname.lastname@example.org
At a meeting of the Nursing and Midwifery Council on Thursday 25 October, members voted on whether or not registrant fees should rise, and if the troubled regulator should accept the £20million bail-out offered by the government.
It's been clear for some time that the NMC has struggled to keep up with its fitness to practice cases and a shortfall in funds has meant that drastic action was necessary to fix the gross failings in management and administration required from the regulator of nurses and midwives in England.
At the meeting, held in London on 25 October, council members heard from the current acting Chief Executive, Jacqui Smith, who explained the options available and the reasons why these options had been decided upon and put out for consultation.
Various combinations were put forward; including whether or not to accept the government's proposed grant of £20million, and how much (if at all) to raise the fee for registrants - hard-working nurses and midwives at the coalface, struggling to pay bills and to survive in a time of national austerity.
Health professionals have told CP that they are reluctant to pay yet more in fees, which are compulsory in order for them to remain on the register; and throughout the meeting it became evident that council members were aware of the decision they needed to make, and the impact it would have upon their members.
One by one the council members were asked to explain their position and vote for one of the options presented to them, and most chose both to increase the fee by £100 for two years, and to accept the bail out. Further consultations were considered an unnecessary expense - but what will the fall out be among the public and professionals? Will the NMC's reputation be further tarnished once registrants are forced to cough up the cash - in essence to make up for this organisation's errors?
Unite Professional Officer, Jane Beach, said: 'Unite will be monitoring the NMC's financial situation very closely in the next two years to see that the NMC delivers its core regulatory functions within its new financial regime.
'Our members, registered with the NMC, have not had a pay rise for two years because of the government's austerity policies, so any increase - and this is 32 per cent - is a blow to their static incomes.
'Unite was vehemently against the NMC's original proposal that would have seen a 58 per cent hike to £120-a-year. Our members, in a widespread consultation earlier this year, said that the fee should not be increased above £86-a-year in line with the current rate of inflation.
'So today's announcement is a curate's egg - it could have been worse, but should have been better.
'We hope that the NMC will be more transparent in its dealings with its stakeholder organisations in the future.'
What do you think about the council's decision? Are you happy to pay the extra fee? Email me your thoughts at Polly.email@example.com or tweet us @commprac