Jeremy Hunt and David Cameron gave an interesting talk, thanking the attendees and all nurses, carers and healthcare professionals for supporting the government's vision to improve healthcare for all. They acknowledged the invaluable role we play in the lives of patients, families and carers.
I was lucky to be invited by Wendy Nicholson, the professional officer for school and community nursing at the DH, with some other Queen's Nurses who also sit on the community nursing advisory board.
There were about 100 to 150 attendees and the atmosphere was electric. Many of us were quite in awe of being inside such an iconic building.
I spoke to both politicians to raise the profile of practice nurses, and suggested that when talking about general practice, they refer to the important role they have in primary care. We also discussed how acute care doesn't just happen inside a hospital building but in the community too.
I hope that having the opportunity to raise the profile of practice nurses with the prime minister is going to have a positive outcome for the profession and will encourage more nurses, both newly qualified, and nurses from other disciplines, to want to learn more about this exciting role and become practice nurses.
There were a number of prestigious people there, besides the prime minister, including Baroness Cumberlege, Crystal Oldman, chief executive of the QNI, and Viv Bennett, the director of nursing at the DH and PHE.
This was also a great opportunity to meet other types of nurses and share information about our respective roles.
From this event, I will continue to encourage new nurses into general practice and will raise the profile of practice nurses at every opportunity. Without the diverse and complex role of practice nurses primary care would not be able to offer the services that are expected of general practice. Practice nurses are instrumental in case managing patients with comorbidities and building relationships with their families, carers, and friends to ensure holistic needs are met. Practice nurses are highly specialist professionals covering a very broad variety of roles and age range.
We need to grow a workforce that is fit for purpose for the future and I believe events like this can do just that.
This was a fantastic event in recognition of the important work nurses do. I feel very honoured to have been a part of it.
Debbie Brown is a practice nurse in Lewisham