QNI News

Education & Societies

QNI Annual Conference

The Queen’s Nursing Institute annual conference was held in London on 28 September 2015.

Three hundred delegates from community nursing and related fields gathered to discuss a range of subjects under the overall theme of ‘Inspire, Innovate, Implement’. The conference was opened and chaired by Dr Crystal Oldman and the delegates were welcomed by Dr Mike Pringle, President of the Royal College of General Practitioners.

The event was addressed by a number of keynote speakers from national healthcare organisations, and also saw the launch of new Voluntary Standards for District Nursing Education and Practice.

England’s Chief Nursing Officer, Jane Cummings, spoke about the new national nursing strategy to replace Compassion in Practice, and asked all community nurses to get involved in its development over the coming months.

Rob Webster, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, spoke about the fifty ‘vanguard’ sites that will be trialling new models of service delivery.

Louise Patten, Chief Officer or Aylesbury Vale CCG spoke about the huge advances in self-care that are transforming healthcare.

Tommy Whitelaw, of the Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland, gave a moving and personal account of his experiences as a carer, looking after his late mother who suffered from vascular dementia.

Christine Hancock, Founder of C3 Collaborating for Health, gave a broad international perspective about the rising challenge of non-communicable diseases. These chronic conditions are now replacing contagious diseases as the main killers around the world, as people become more sedentary. Tobacco, alcohol, poor diet and lack of exercise are now the root cause of the main killers – such as diabetes and heart disease - in most countries. She called on nurses to set an example through their own healthy lifestyles.

Dr Katerina Kolyva, Director Continued Practice at the NMC then spoke about the practicalities of revalidation, the ultimate purpose of which she said was to ‘celebrate the professionalism’ of nursing, not to be another test of fitness to practice.

Dr Crystal Oldman, QNI Chief Executive gave an inspiring analysis of leadership in community nursing.

Four concurrent sessions were held during the afternoon:

  • Launch of the new District Nurse Standards (Mary Saunders (QNI), Clare Cable (Chief Executive,QNIS) and Iain Upton (patient representative)
  • Discharge Planning Project (Candice Pellett OBE, QN)
  • Homeless healthcare (David Parker-Radford, QNI)
  • Display of poster presentations.

Professor Laura Serrant then spoke about the importance of diversity in nursing leadership in her presentation, 'Beyond Snowy White Peaks'. 

The conference was brought to a close by Kate Billingham CBE, Chair of the QNI’s Council.

All presentations given at the conference will be available on the QNI website during October 2015, and there will also be free links to video footage of all the speakers.

Health Assessment Tool for Nurses Working With the Homeless

The Queen’s Nursing Institute (QNI) marks World Homeless Day by launching new guidance for community nurses to help them assess the health of homeless people.

The resource features a template health assessment including general physical health, presence of long term conditions, substance use, mental health, sexual health and housing. It also incorporates template care plans for use by nurses and patients.

The document, funded by the Monument Trust, recognises that homeless people need an approach that treats them holistically, recognises their own skills and assets and effectively co-ordinates their care. The guidance was informed by people with experience of homelessness and created by community nurses specialising in homeless health. It is structured to support nurses and other health professionals to work together in the best interests of people who are homeless and will support and prompt them to ask the right questions at the right time.

The guidance is designed to promote the best possible standard of care that meets national guidelines, including existing NICE standards, Public Health England outcomes on homeless health, and the standards for commissioners and service providers by the Faculty for Homeless and Inclusion Health. The template assessment incorporates NHS read codes to make it easier to incorporate into current systems.

David Parker-Radford, The QNI’s Homeless Health Project Manager said

“Vast inequality exists between homeless people and the rest of the population in terms of their health. Health professionals are well placed to support people in closing this gap but to do so they need access to all the relevant information. Currently, according to a QNI survey, only 85% of homeless people are having their housing status recorded by NHS medical records, and so people are not given access to all the support available to them. Thanks to the work of some of the most dedicated homeless health specialists in the field, from the QNI’s National Homeless Health Advisory Group, this resource should become a key tool for improving practice in the years ahead.”

New Standards for District Nursing

With health policy shifting to a community based, integrated system, the role of the District Nurse is absolutely central to high quality, person centred care. However, the standards which define the specialist practice of a District Nurse were originally developed in 1994 by the UKCC and have not been updated since by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

It was felt across the profession that there was a need to modernise standards for District Nurses, and the Queen’s Nursing Institute (QNI) and Queen’s Nursing Institute Scotland (QNIS) led a project to introduce new voluntary standards. These voluntary standards will enhance, not replace, the existing NMC standards, and will support the development of education programmes for contemporary and future practice.

The QNI and QNIS established an advisory group made up of experts from each of the UK countries, including senior figures from education, commissioning, third sector, the NMC and the four governments to develop the standards. Following a consultation over the summer months, the final standards were launched on the 28th September.

Mary Saunders was seconded from South Bank University to lead the project and she said:

“The process included the observation of District Nurses in practice across the UK, which allowed us to develop these standards based on the wide range of skills they require.”

QNI Chief Executive Dr Crystal Oldman said:

“These new QNI/QNIS voluntary standards for District Nurse education and practice clearly place the specialist profession of District Nursing at the centre of community healthcare. It is a testament to the work of the individuals and all the key stakeholder organisations involved that we have been able to create and agree a unified vision for District Nurse practice across the UK.”

Clare Cable, Chief Executive and Nurse Director of QNIS said:

“As all four countries move towards integrated health and social care, the need to articulate the role of the District Nurse and the generalist specialist skills which they bring is vital. This is a timely contribution to the conversations we are all having about delivering high quality care at home.”

The QNI and QNIS are calling for approved higher education institutions to work with their provider organisations in creating programmes based on these standards. They have been developed with the active involvement and support of the Association of District Nurse Educators (ADNE). The NMC has confirmed they will note where institutions have mapped future accreditation and validation against the new standards.

The document can be found at: http://www.qni.org.uk/docs/DN_Standards_Web.pdf