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Community nursing gets healthy reception at conference

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Published on 30 May 2022

Dr Crystal Oldman CBE (Chief Executive of the Queen`s Nursing Institute) with some District Nursing apprenticeship students
Dr Crystal Oldman CBE (Chief Executive of the Queen`s Nursing Institute) with some District Nursing apprenticeship students

Developments in the education and training of community nurses which are making a difference to patients’ lives, were at the heart of a health trust conference this month.

The South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust (STSFT) Celebrating Community Nursing Event was hosted by University of Sunderland on campus.

The event showcased developments in community services and celebrated patient-focused care and education.

Community nursing provides invaluable care to people in their own homes, care homes, or close to where they live, in clinics and GP practices across every village, town and city in the country. They also provide outreach services to those who may not have a secure home and are an integral part of the NHS workforce

The conference was opened by Dr Guy Tucker, Head of Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professions Education (NMAHP) and Head of Education and Community Nursing at STSFT, and Holly Kitching, Deputy Director of Nursing.

The guest speaker, Dr Crystal Oldman CBE, Chief Executive of the Queens Nursing Institute (QNI), provided an overview of the current issues in community nursing and how the Institute is working to advance community services, support and education.

Members of the University of Sunderland’s academic nursing team and students on the Nurse Degree Apprenticeship programme also attended the event, to gain an insight into their practice and learn more about the developments in this field of nursing.

Dr Lindy Turnbull, Senior Lecturer in District Nursing at Sunderland, said: “We have an established collaborative relationship with STSFT and we work closely together to provide education and support to students in a number of areas. This conference is a great of example of how our partnership brings opportunities for staff and students in community settings to network, share best practice and celebrate inspirational patient focused developments in care.”

During the conference, at the Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter’s, workshops by Community Services and Hospice Staff provided insights into the benefits of development roles in community nursing and how education, training service development and integration make a difference to patients receiving palliative care.

The final presentations of the day from NMAHP Team, outlined innovations in student support and learning and in new technology which is the focus of a new project to facilitate access to learning opportunities in the community.

The conference was closed by Dr Guy Tucker and Melanie Milburn Heads of Nursing (Community), who congratulated the speakers and audience on the passion for patient care and which had been evident in all the presentations and discussions throughout the day. 

Dr Tucker said: "This event has showcased the excellent and continuing strengthened partnership between STSFT and the University of Sunderland.

“The key theme of the event was about celebrating the excellent and diverse work carried out by our community nursing staff/ colleagues. Highlighting developments in education and training, staff support and by having a shared vision in making a positive difference to the care and lives of patients in the community.

“The delegates at the event demonstrate pride and passion in community nursing, which was humbling and moving at times."