A review into the digital readiness of nurses and midwives has been launched and aims to make sure the workforce is equipped for the future.

The Phillips Ives Nursing and Midwifery Review will be led by Dr Natasha Phillips, chief nursing information officer at NHS England and Dr Jeanette Ives Erickson will serve as an international vice-chair. The aim of the review is to ensure that the nursing and midwifery workforce is equipped to deal with any future technological challenges.

Building on the work of the 2019 Topol Review, the project will call on evidence from across the nursing and midwifery workforce as well as wider professions within the NHS and from abroad. It is expected it will take around a year for the review to be completed.

A timeline of the Phillips Ives review
A timeline of the Phillips Ives review

The review will address four key questions:

  • How are technological and other developments likely to change the roles and functions of the nursing and midwifery workforce?
  • What are the implications of the size, shape and skills of this workforce?
  • What does this mean for selection, curricula, education, training, development and lifelong learning of the current and future nursing and midwifery workforce?
  • What are the considerations for inclusion, equality and diversity?

Key themes of the review include workforce planning, AI and data science and emerging technologies and opportunities.

Dr Phillips said: “Nurses and midwives are often the face of the NHS for the public, looking after patients and their families at the happiest times in their life, such as the birth of a child, and at some of the most difficult.

“As the NHS looks to the future and the increasing role played by digital and technology, it is important we ensure our nurses and midwives receive an education that will prepare them for the NHS of tomorrow.”

Findings from the review will help shape the NHS’s future digital strategy and will ensure that nurses and midwives are provided with the knowledge, skills and education required for safe, effective digitally-enabled practice.

The review will be conducted by Health Education England as part of its Digital Readiness Education Programme in partnership with NHS England.

Dr Ives Erickson added: “It is an honour to work with colleagues across the globe to advance nursing practice ensuring our discipline leads in the digital healthcare system of today and in the future.

“This is a focused review with four key principles that will influence the educational and care delivery systems for our future workforce, will inform strategy, enhance safety, and will embed efficiencies into systems of care delivery. A big and important initiative”.

You can get involved with the review here.