What can be achieved together
Over 80 of our nurses came together to share knowledge, skills and expertise.
They also came together to share an understanding of the diverse scope of practice across NAHSCP, where we have over 800 nurses working in the Partnership, and to explore how we, as a profession, continue to contribute to the Partnership’s vision and objectives.
A significant feature of the whole day was the buzz from beginning to end, the unmistakable enthusiasm from the nurses there – to their individual roles, but also to the partnership – this wasn’t about nurses being self isolating, this was about embracing what we can achieve together.
Starting off the day, Iona Colvin (@iona_colvin) shared her vision for NAHSCP – the presentation was titled “Seven steps to change the world”. The vision was unmistakably inclusive, each one of us was left in no doubt that our contribution was valued and valuable.
Key messages included the need to have a plan and that we all need to understand it. As leaders there is no point in charging ahead only to find out that no-one is with us.
The importance of both authentic and distributed leadership was emphasised in encouraging us that we can ‘change the world’ but we need to be on that journey together.
It was clear from Iona that this wasn’t about being ‘generalists’, there wasn’t an agenda of developing some form of generic workers, this was about the added value each profession brings to the partnership from their core skill set; it was however about considering what we need to do differently.
A key point, welcomed by all the delegates was the need to “stop assessing each other’s assessments” – whether that is a nurse reassessing a social workers assessment or vice versus, we need to share knowledge and trust each other in assessing needs.
We then heard from the Chief Nursing Officer for Scotland, Professor Fiona McQueen (@fionacmcqueen) on developing her vision for Scotland. The policy context was evident in her third slide, but so to was the challenge around how we own the policy context locally, and in the future shape our own policies.
As a profession we were challenged to considered our place in integrated teams, to think differently both in terms of new roles, but also traditional boundaries – extended, enhanced, specialist and advanced practice. What part do each of these have in our ‘future’ profession?
The professional context was explored by Fiona in relation to revalidation, the NMC educational standards review and the inevitability of many in the room working longer – this means we need to consider now what the future may look like in order that we can shape it, rather than being shaped by it.
In addition to other events that have been held, or will be held, for those on Twitter Fiona will be holding a ‘Tweetchat’ around developing the vision of nursing in Scotland – it will be held on 24th May from 19:00-20:00hrs, using #CNOScot as the hashtag. Please feel free to join in.
The unknown unknowns
Of course it would be remiss not to mention the ice breaker word search where one team scored 152 words from their grid – but where one team ended up with three ‘J’s in their word grid there was always going to be wide variations in possibilities.
Having heard from our keynote speakers, stimulated their grey matter with the word search the nurses then spent time considering and sharing ‘what are the key components of your role?’ and ‘what do you think colleagues don’t know about your role?’ The final question from the morning session was ‘how do you contribute to the profession?’
In the morning feedback it was clear that nurses are people people – person centred care was central in the feedback from each group. Being with people (and families) was an unmistakable theme. ‘What matters to you’ and ‘making a difference’ were messages from each of the tables.
The privileged position that nurses hold in society, within communities, with families and with individuals was recognised and highly prized by the delegates. There was also overwhelming acknowledgement that with that privileged position came great responsibility.
In the afternoon the delegates spent time looking at ‘the plan’ – the NAHSCP Strategic Plan – a plan that had been developed with input from the people of North Ayrshire.
Each of the tables (10) took one of the five strategic priorities and explored how they, as nurses can support the delivery of the plan.
*Priority 2 – Engaging Communities
*Priority 3 – Bringing Services Together
*Priority 4 – Prevention and Early Intervention
*Priority 5 – Improving Mental Health and Wellbeing
The afternoon feedback session focused on the above topics was to the Chief Executives of North Ayrshire Council and NHS Ayrshire & Arran, to NAHSCP’s three Heads of Service and to the Senior Management Team.
Again we saw key themes coming from delegates around the role of the nurse in accessing families at times of need, that nursing is one of the few roles that are with people throughout their lifespan – this brings a unique opportunity to influence health literacy, healthy choices, access to service and to address inequalities.
Information and health was recognised as an important enabler, both in terms of sharing information across and within teams, but also in reducing administrative aspects of the nurses role. There was a clear enthusiasm evident from those present.
In closing the event we heard from Elma Murray (@NAC_CEO), Chief Executive, North Ayrshire Council who recapped on the commitment she had heard during feedback, before re-emphasising the power of us all working together – not just within the Partnership itself, but also with colleagues from across the Council services. This theme of us being stronger together was continued in the feedback from John Burns, Chief Executive, NHS Ayrshire & Arran.
It was then left to one of our newest Ayrshire nurses, Hazel Borland (@hazelNMAHPdir), Executive Nurse Director to recognise the significant contribution of one of our longest serving nurses, Jeanette Henderson who retires this week, 52 years after she first began her career here in NHS Ayrshire & Arran.
Inspirational, caring, compassionate, role model are just a few words used to describe Jeanette – a nurse who hasn’t lost an ounce of her drive and enthusiasm for delivering person centred care from the beginning to the end of her career. We all wish Jeanette well in her retirement – and as one of our ‘bank nurses’, in the years ahead – yes, she has signed up to come back.
A fuller, more detailed collation of outputs will be drawn together over the coming weeks – there was so many powerful messages of what nurses can do that a blog cannot do the day justice. Watch this space there is more to come.
This week’s blog was by @dtbarron (Derek T Barron), Lead Nurse, North Ayrshire Health & Social Care Partnership; Associate Nurse Director, NHS Ayrshire & Arran.
The pictures below are the posters which the nursing teams wrote to describe their role – they were designed by Eleanor McCallum (ellie_mccallum) and printed by Steve Palmer (@stevemedphot): thanks to them both for their invaluable assistance.