Nursing Times article Feb 2015

‘Jane Cummings has dropped a few of the old Cs to make way for her new ones’

It has been a while since Cummings’ 6Cs theory was first introduced to nurses and midwives.


My understanding is that it was an answer or moreover a strategy that would be used to try and avoid any future crises such as Mid-Staffs, as mentioned by aspiring student nurse Connie, below. 

Hospitals and care staff nationwide seem to have adopted and taken it on-board, with several advocates appearing to attempt to re-establish a set of core nursing values using this theory.

During a our time at university as student nurse we are taught critical thinking, analysing and evaluation skills in our academic writing. We are programmed from the outset to always ask questions and challenge poor practise throughout our careers. 

When we take this into consideration, are the 6Cs really a reform for healthcare or are they just six traits chosen as they begin with the same letter and easily roll off the tongue?

“Are the 6Cs really a reform for healthcare or are they just six traits chosen as they begin with the same letter and easily roll off the tongue?”

As I understand it, Sister Simone Roach initially founded the theory of the 6Cs in the early nineties; Jane Cummings has dropped a few of the old Cs to make way for her new ones. 

Is the answer to the problems faced by the NHS really achievable by merely coming up with six traits one person thinks nurses should have, all beginning with the letter C? 

Or is a more advanced and thought-out reform needed?

I think the 6Cs have done a lot of good for the NHS and I am inviting you to express your opinion on them. 

I am embracing my role as a student nurse and thinking critically, in conjunction with wanting to hear from other student nurses. Don’t be afraid to be honest in your answers – another trait that is emerging in nurse training. 

Connie gives some context on this one below – now let us know your thoughts.

Are six words all beginning with C really enough to transform our NHS?

Mikey Whitehead is a former student nurse editor paediatric branch and a student nurse studying children’s nursing



The six Cs are now one of the main aspects used within NHS services, particularly for nurses. The six Cs link with the six areas of action that are both part of the new strategy for nurses, midwives and care staff. However, who actually embraces the six Cs in their practice?

The six Cs are a central point of the Compassion in Practice strategy introduced by Chief Nursing Officer, Jane Cummings.

Originally, the 6Cs were implemented for nurses, midwives and other care staff. However, now all employees are being told to comply with the 6Cs as well as nurses and midwives. This includes doctors, managers and all support staff such as HCAs and they are all expected to embrace these values.

The NHS has always said that they provide care ‘from the cradle to the grave’; therefore one advantage of the new idea is that all patients will be given the best quality standard of care, which is the core objective for the NHS. The idea for this will be to increase the standard of care given by the NHS as whole, to stop major problems occurring which have seen the services at the scandal-hit Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust transferred to other health trusts.

However, others have argued that all NHS staff embracing the six Cs will reduce focus on the purpose of the nursing strategy proposed in the first place. Some believe that if all employees use these values it will dilute the nursing strategy and the three-year vision that Jane Cummings originally set out will not be accomplished.

Connie Maidment is an aspiring student nurse


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