Annual Meeting for Queen's Nurses
31 March 2017
Over 220 Queen’s Nurses attended the conference in London on 31st March 2017.
Summary of the main presentations
Dr Crystal Oldman, QNI chief executive, welcomed delegates.
Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, President of the RCGP, welcomed the Queen’s Nurses. She compared Brexit to a chronic disease that we would also become accustomed to living with, once the initial trauma had worn off. She also advised delegates to look at the newly published refresh of NHS England’s Five Year Forward View.
Joanne Bosanquet, Deputy Chief Nurse at Public Health England, spoke about evolving challenges of population health since the time of Florence Nightingale. She presented statistics showing the huge rise in global population since 1930 and the large increase in the ageing population and how this is predicted to grow over the next few decades. This presents enormous challenges to healthcare systems worldwide.
She also drew attention to varying levels of health literacy, for example the fact that one in six UK adults has literacy lower than an average 11 year old. This presents barriers to the revolution in ‘e-health’, which is improving access to healthcare information for many people. She demonstrated how the ‘self care continuum’ is a useful way of understanding how patients with better knowledge and engagement with their health have improved wellbeing. She also spoke about the huge and coming impact of genomics and how this will affect diagnosis and treatment.
She advised delegates to learn more about:
- The Self Care Forum http://www.selfcareforum.org/
- Patient Activation Measures https://www.england.nhs.uk/ourwork/patient-participation/self-care/patient-activation/
- Genomics England and the 100,000 Genomes Project https://www.genomicsengland.co.uk/
- Appreciative Inquiry https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appreciative_inquiry
Professor Mark Radford spoke about the unique heritage of Queen’s Nurses and also the challenges facing the NHS – in particular obesity, diabetes and dementia. He spoke about the improvement resources that are being developed at the moment, and the role of the QNI in producing these. He cited the King’s Fund document (2016) which described the nine key indicators of quality in the District Nursing service and the complexity of patient care in the community.
Jenni Middleton, Editor, Nursing Times spoke about how nurses can get their voice heard, either through the media or with decision makers such as MPs. She challenged all the delegates to never use the phrase ‘I’m just a nurse’ ever again and she gave a summary of the power and risks of using social media. She also encouraged all delegates to enter the Nursing Times Awards, as a way of raising their profile with employers and the wider community. The deadline is 2 June 2017.
George Plumptre, Chief Executive of The National Garden Scheme spoke about the heritage of the two charities. He also told delegates about the Gardens and Health Week taking place in August. He sketched out a long history of the District Nursing service and lamented the loss of the Queen’s Nurse title in 1968. He said that the relaunch of the QN title in 2007, with NGS support, has been one of the great achievements of the QNI in recent years. However he said that the lack of investment in District Nursing particularly since 2000 has had a detrimental effect on patient care. He said that District Nurses were a vital part of the NHS. He also announced additional NGS funding for a Queen’s Nurse leadership programme, to help address the lack of senior leaders in the NHS who have a community (as opposed to hospital) background.
Dr Naomi Chapman and Jill Best QN spoke about the role of the clinical evaluation team in the Department of Health. The team has a vital role to play in making purchasing more efficient while at the same time ensuring the value of products purchased. There is a new secondment role coming up in the team, to replace Jill.
More information about their work is here: http://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/CET
Dame Elizabeth Anionwu gave a moving speech about her life and her joint Irish and Nigerian heritage, and the rediscovery of her father who she first met in Nigeria 1973 as a young nurse. She spoke about her work in the London Borough of Brent to improve health services for people with sickle cell disease, when previously diagnosis and support was almost non-existent. She spoke about her growing awareness of her mixed race heritage and cited a number of key influences including Frantz Fanon. She first heard about Mary Seacole in 1984 and has led the campaign to have her properly recognised, which finally led to the erection of a statue in her honour in 2016 in the grounds of Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital. She was director at the Mary Seacole Centre from 1998 to 2007.
Dame Elizabeth signed copies of her autobiography, ‘Mixed Blessings from a Cambridge Union’.
Suzanne Rich, from the QNI Welfare team, and Queen’s Nurses Jane Wright, Claire Green and Carol Webley-Brown spoke about the QNI’s new ‘Keep in Touch’ project which links up working Queen’s Nurses with retired QNs and other retired nurses in the QNI network. They spoke about the huge rewards of being involved, their personal experiences, and encouraged other QNs to join as volunteers in this scheme.
Agnes Fanning presented the three prizes to the winning poster presentations. The winners were:
- Dawn Allen – ‘The Ratings War’ – using rag rating in the District Nursing service (overall winner)
- Hayley Mullan – Improving the care of older adults with diabetes in the care home setting
- Angela Williams – ‘Student Cheer’ – the impact on loneliness and isolation.
Dr Crystal Oldman summarised the day and gave an overview of the QNI’s current activities and its new Strategic Plan 2017-20. She presented evidence to help community nurses explain to commissioners the importance of nursing in the community by illustrating how many patients were nursed in beds in the community and in care homes, compared to how many were nursed in hospital. She thanked the National Garden Scheme for its support of the QNI and Queen’s Nurses and spoke about upcoming openings of particular interest, including Frogmore on 6 June and QNI communications manager Matthew’s garden opening on 11 June.