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Nurses will overcome Olympic hurdles

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Nurses will overcome Olympic hurdles Nurses will overcome Olympic hurdles

Olympic fever is setting in across the country. For some, it is simply the anticipation of seeing high-level sport happening so close to home.

For the individual sports' enthusiasts, it is the prospect of medals and success for British athletes. For organisations based in London, like the QNI, there is also the pressure to maintain 'business as usual' when there will 5.3 million extra visitors in town, and the authorities are predicting six weeks of severe travel disruption.

Add in the increased security risk level, and possible telecoms and wifi disruption, and it all feels a bit overwhelming.

But we have a plan. It involves remote access to files, staggered working hours, core staffing rotas and a variety of other wheezes designed so that the non-London-obsessed rest of the country doesn't notice any difference in our work.

We can do this, of course, because we don't always have to be physically present in the office to do our work. For the healthcare providers of London, and particularly the community ones, it will be a much more difficult challenge to meet.

Staff have to travel to home-bound patients, other people have to get out to clinics, information has to be transmitted and packages of care put together involving the staff of multiple agencies. But the one thing that is certain (unlike gold medals) is that they too will have a plan.

I looked up the years in which London last hosted the Olympics, in our archived Queen's Nurses' magazines from 1908 and 1948. Strangely, it was as if these major global sporting events had never happened. No mention of travel problems, crowds or excitement. Just business as usual for the Queen's Nurses, apparently.

In today's more connected world, I doubt there will be such 'radio silence'. I think we will hear amazing, inspiring and amusing stories of how those most resilient of professionals, the community nurses, ensured patients got the care they needed in the midst of the biggest Games on earth. We would love to hear them, before, during and after the big event.

Rosemary Cook, director, Queen's Nursing Institute

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