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Look to the future of primary care

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2017 promises to be a tumultuous year for nursing 2017 promises to be a tumultuous year for nursing

A new year brings a sense of new beginnings, renewed hope, goals and aspirations, both personally and professionally.

I took the opportunity to clear out my home study over the break and was gripped by one of the documents I had filed away more than 25 years ago.

Nursing in the Community is a report by the NHS Management Executive in 1990. The conclusions of the report are a set of six management principles for nursing in primary care:

  • Shared vision of care.
  • Commitment to joint working and putting patients first.
  • Joint assessments of population health needs.
  • Joint strategies.
  • Effective communications.
  • Commitment to quality.

The shared vision of care refers to all agencies in the health and social care system, having a common approach to caring for people in the community, working together to improve the patient, family and carer experiences. This resonates with the NHS Five Year Forward View and new service models combining health and social care.

The joint needs assessments also sound familiar, leading to joint strategies for illness prevention, health promotion, health protection and care in local communities. When reading this I was reminded of the current sustainability and transformation plans (STPs).

Effective communications refers to the need for all nurses in general practice and those working in the community to cooperate to ensure care is coordinated for patients, families and carers.
I was reminded of the fabulous primary care home model which is supported by the National Association of Primary Care.

The report highlights the importance of an absolute commitment to quality and the specification of standards of care within service agreements and contracts. This again sounds very familiar to the world of CCGs and the monitoring of quality of care.

My renewed hope for 2017 is that such enduring principles are turned into actions that benefit patients, families and carers in local communities. The QNI is 130 years old in 2017 and as relevant today in transforming principles into actions as when we were founded. We will continue in our work to ensure there is excellent nursing care available for all in the community and that nurses are properly recognised, supported and developed to lead this care.

Crystal Oldman, chief executive, Queen’s Nursing Institute

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