This year's mainstream news seems to have been dominated by health and the NHS. There was the Francis Report in February, the preparations for and changes to the structure of the NHS in April, the government's initial response to the Francis Report, the DH's strategies for community nursing and practice nursing, the 6Cs, the NMC's plans for nurse revalidation, release of the Friends and Family Test figures, the government's formal response to Francis accepting in partial form most recommendations, the CQC State of Care Report 2012/13, Jeremy Hunt's plan for the vulnerable elderly, and the BMA's annual renegotiation of the GP contract, to name a few. Phew!
Both children and the elderly have been highlighted as patient groups that deserve greater attention, to improve individuals' lives and help reduce the future burden on the NHS.
And amid this national news, the natural and human-caused disasters in Syria and then the Phillipines created dire primary care needs overseas.
There have been positives: NHS Change Day (the next of which will be in March), the Reboot Medway initiative, the successful 'HelloMyNameIs' campaign, a greater focus on the importance of training and development for community and practice nurses, and the growing role that primary care will continue to play in the NHS. An acknowledgement that nurse staffing numbers are inadequate and the recruitment drive are vital steps.
Healthcare will remain high on the public and political agenda and in the spotlight throughout 2014. Meanwhile, nursing is regaining its professional pride and strong leadership has emerged.
The current Independent Nurse team took up the mantel this summer, and have enjoyed meeting and hearing from readers and contributors. Next year will be an exciting one for the title and your input is welcomed. We wish you all the best for the New Year.