Staying connected to nurses, midwives and care staff is a central part and one of the real privileges of my job. Hearing and acting on the views of people who use our services needs to inform everything we do as nurses whether at individual community or strategic level
Since January, I have been fortunate to connect with many nurses, health professionals and students through visits, teaching and social media and to meet many different people using all kinds of health and care services
I visited services in a prison, a gym, schools, nursing homes, clinics and hospitals. All of them focused on supporting people to get the best outcomes a good experience of care and to make every contact count for health and wellbeing
Stories matter in improving care and well being and in ‘learning from what goes right’ – these stories illustrate the range of work through which nurses and care staff are making a difference
Bob (aged 75+) in Liverpool told me about a nurse-led programme to promote exercise in older age, ‘this service at the gym has transformed my life, I can walk better, I have company I am not depressed anymore’ – he is now a volunteer helper
John (aged 60) in Stafford prison read a moving account of his life and difficulties and told us how the nurse led anxiety management course had been the first thing that had ever helped him understand why he was so angry and the consequences of that anger
Dan (aged 25 with cerebral palsy) just moved in to a new respite centre and his biggest concern was that the care staff sort out his internet access and get his ‘lifeline computer’ in use – they did
A group of year nine girls from a school in East London told me how school nurses were using their views to improve services and how important school nurses could be in emotional health and preventing self-harm
A carer in an acute hospital with her husband who had dementia talked about how the nurses were supporting them both (and how nice the food was!)
And finally here is Sumi’s story told in her own words – how joined up care improves health and live chances.
Hello, my name is Sumi. I am nearly 11 years old; therefore, I am currently in year 6. I have eczema which is a really bad dry skin condition. It makes me itch 24/7 which leads to lack of sleep. At night it's hard to get to sleep. I have to share my bed with my two sisters and this makes my body hot and my skin starts to itch.
However at school I have been improving a lot thanks to my favourite school nurses they have been helping me to make my skin feel much better so that I can concentrate at school. My head teacher and my Class TA, have supported me a lot.
The other thing that helps is our school nurses talk to my hospital nurse. They created a creaming card that helps me remember when to apply my cream. Using my creaming card helps me remember and makes me feel comfortable to do my learning in class. This would help me.
Hopefully I can get good results for my year 6 SATS this year without getting disturbed by my eczema.