Being a massive health geek now means that I get a daily digest of news from NHS Networks delivered to my inbox every day. There are loads of really interesting nuggets of information in it, and it’s a great way of keeping in touch.
Today I spotted a link that I clicked on straight away – it detailed a new initiative for nurses has just been launched to develop leadership and innovation in community nursing. This new initiative is called Nurse First.
The programme will involve 21 days of residential development, professional coaching, access to expert advises, and some of the UK’s leading innovators and social entrepreneurs. Community health care professionals are being asked to nominate themselves for the programme. It is hoped that the programme will promote innovation and improvement in community health, and allow those who participate to develop their leadership and analytical skills.
I was delighted to see such a programme being launched. We know from our work with the South London HIEC on nursing networks that nurses are going to be central to achieving much of the reforms set out by the government. From working with community matrons and practice nurses, we realised that the opportunities for professional networking was very limited for nurses working in these roles.
Together with the South London HIEC, we are working to develop professional networks to better support nurses by providing forums and opportunities for nurses to ask questions, share information on practice, hear from expert speakers, and develop their skills. We have recently appointed network facilitators, and are in the early stages of getting the network up and running.
We are really excited about the role of nurses for the future, and we hope through this work we can help nurses to have a more influential and powerful voice. They are the ones working with patients and the community day after day, supporting some of our most vulnerable people who are living with long-term conditions. They know what works, and what needs to be improved. If we can better support them to influence how services are designed and run, that can only be a good thing both for patients, and the public purse.