Blog: The three P's...

Published on 22 March 2019

In her latest blog, our Chief Executive, Andrea Sutcliffe, talks about the importance of working in co-production

Last week I celebrated two months at the NMC and I can safely say I’m loving it! We have such a great opportunity to make a difference in the world of health and social care, supporting nurses, midwives (and in England nursing associates) to provide better, safer care.

In the coming year we will be developing our new organisational strategy for 2020 and beyond. Ensuring we end up with a strategic vision that inspires and motivates our colleagues internally and gives confidence externally is important. But for me, just as important is ‘how’ we go about developing the strategy.  

It may not be much of a surprise to regular readers of my blogs, but working in co-production with NMC colleagues, the public, professionals and our partners will be at the heart of that process. Lots of discussions in my first couple of months have shown me how helpful and important that will be.


The NMC exists so the public can be confident that nurses, midwives and nursing associates caring for them are capable of providing the best, safest care possible. Understanding their views about what they would like us to do to make that happen will be crucial in shaping the strategy.

We recently held our first public and patient organisations coproduction roundtable event focusing on asking attendees how we could work with them in the development of our strategy and what really mattered to them.

Two things struck me: The first that the topics generated a lively debate and some great ideas. The second was the willingness from everyone in the room to engage with us, which is very encouraging. You can’t co-produce if people won't co-produce with you!! I am looking forward to keeping that momentum going over the coming weeks and months.


While we know there's so much we can improve in health and social care, we can certainly be proud of the thousands of caring, hardworking and dedicated professionals who we need to value, nurture and cherish.  

One of the reasons I have been loving this role has been the opportunity to meet professionals on our register, listen to their challenges and explore with them how they want the NMC to work.  

Many have highlighted the pressures they face but also how much they love their jobs too - the privilege of caring for and supporting people, sometimes at the most difficult times of their lives. They want the NMC to understand this and support them for the benefit of the people they care for. We will make sure their views help to shape our future direction too.


The more I understand the role of the NMC, the more I see how complex and extensive our stakeholder map is! Working with senior leaders in health and social care; educators and academics; union representatives; the four country administrations; other regulators - I could spend my entire time talking to them. I’m not complaining though. If we are to help the nursing and midwifery workforce provide the best care possible for people then it’s vital that our work is aligned and understood in the context of what our partners are doing too.

Fortunately, last week I was able to connect with a lot of key people at the English Chief Nursing Officer's (CNO) Summit, #TeamCNO. It was a brilliant conference and an excellent opportunity to connect with senior nursing and midwifery leaders, including numerous conversations with visitors to the NMC stand. Our own speaking sessions were well attended and well received, and it was great to hear Ruth May speaking warmly about her work with us in her keynote address.

There's much more to do in connecting with these groups, getting their insight into how we can work better together and learn from each other. I am sure our partners will help in coming up with some innovative ideas to help our strategy develop.

The last word

I want the NMC, to do the best job we can now, and as part of the future strategy.

Why? For the benefit of those on our register; for the benefit of people who deserve great nursing and midwifery care and so we can add value to the health and care system as a whole.

But we can’t, and shouldn’t, be doing that alone.

Working in coproduction comes with its challenges. There’s differences of opinion; confusion about the boundaries of our role - and criticism can be painful.

However, beneath the challenges lie real opportunities. It encourages us to think differently; to shape new ideas; to learn from everyone’s knowledge and experience; and it strengthens a more confident understanding about what we do and what we’re here for.

Together, let’s make that difference.

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