Welcome to the first issue of 2014. The new year is traditionally a time for reflection on the past twelve months, implementing new ideas and a positive approach to the year ahead. Now that 2014 is well and truly underway I hope that this positivity remains and that the everyday pressures of work and life seem more manageable than they did at the end of last year.
We know that primary care nurses are becoming an ever more important resource in the NHS's strategy to shift the focus of care to the community, in order to ease the burden elsewhere in the system. It is reassuring to hear that there is some support for the nurses that will make this possible.
The first NHS workforce planning report from Health Education England (HEE), released before Christmas, announced their intent to support the training and development of nurses already in the workplace, as well as an increase in the number of nursing education places it will commission. HEE also said it will work to ensure that the trainee nurses it commissions are given greater experience of community nursing during their training.
It will also be important to ensure the quality of this exposure, so that trainee nurses have the best possible experience of community work and might be encouraged to choose this as a career path. The report also asserts that practice nurse numbers have increased by 20 per cent over the past ten years. However, the reality is that patient numbers have risen much faster.
The new year has also brought renewed energy to the Independent Nurse office. We will be developing the title over the course of this year, and I hope you will input as much as possible. A recent reader survey received a huge amount of interest so thank you to those who contributed. The results will help us shape the magazine.