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Primary care needs to innovate

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Ten new projects from the QNI will focus on men's Ten new projects from the QNI will focus on men's health

The QNI is passionate about innovation in the community and primary care, and the potential that nurses have to translate their ideas for change into reality.

We are currently creating our strategic plan for 2017-2020. With the successes we have had to date with supporting innovation in practice, it is likely to feature heavily again in supporting our aim to see excellence in nursing practice in the home and community.

We have been supporting nurses to implement changes in practice for the improvement of the health and wellbeing of individuals, families, carers and communities for many decades. In 2015, we published our Rising Stars report which demonstrated the value nurses have brought by implementing their ideas in practice over the last 10 years.

Many of the innovations supported by the QNI were found to have become mainstream practice and often went on to become commissioned as part of the nursing service. We are delighted therefore that we have been funded by the Burdett Trust for Nursing to support 10 more frontline innovation projects in 2017.

The focus of all 10 projects will be on improving men’s health. This may include men of all ages and the focus could be sexual health, mental health, physical, social and psychological wellbeing, learning disability, long-term physical conditions, issues in fatherhood, relationships, men as unsalaried carers, older men and end of life care. The possibilities are endless.

Nurses who work in primary care and in the community are among the most creative of our profession, working with the material and the conditions around them, over which they often have little direct control. Being skilled, autonomous practitioners however, there can often be a freedom to innovate that does not always exist in the same way in a hospital environment. It is one of the many joys of community practice.

Our QNI innovation programme in 2017 will support 10 pairs of nurses to translate a great idea for change into reality in practice, with a structured year-long support for the development of innovation and leadership skills.

We are anticipating that many nurses will be interested in applying from a wide variety of contexts in the community and primary care. Please take a look at the QNI website ( for more information and please do contact us if you have any questions.

Crystal Oldman, chief executive, Queen’s Nursing Institute

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