"How can I make my voice heard?", "what do I need in order to move forward in my career" and "what areas can I really make an impact and improve or extend patient care?" These are just some of the questions that were debated and explored at the North East London Practice Nurse Futures Conference, which took place on Tuesday 19 November 2019 at the Prince Regent Hotel in East London.
Practice Nurses and Health Care Assistants (HCAs) training to become nurses across North East London joined practice nursing senior managers and other healthcare experts to discuss some of the new structures and staff roles in primary care and the changing landscape of the profession.
Delegates heard from a number of senior managers during the morning section of the conference, including Jane Clegg, Acting Joint Chief Regional Nurse, London NHS England and lead for the London GPN 10 Point Plan and Angie Hack, project manager at the Queens Nurse Institute. Drs Anwar Khan and Sam Everington spoke from the perspective of employers on the changing landscape in general practice and encouraged people to take risks and make good changes.
Guests had the rare privilege of hearing and learning from three individuals in roles that are becoming more common in practice teams but are still relatively new to the General Practice workforce: Charmaine Owusu a Physician Associate; Ruma Rahman a senior Clinical Pharmacist and Julie Rose-Wood a Nursing Associate.
Guests were encouraged to be interactive and take part in discussing a number of questions, such as: "What strengths do Practice Nurses bring to the team and Primary Care Networks that is unique to their role now?" and "What new learning will be needed for Practice Nursing teams in their future roles?"
A key organiser of the conference was the Care Group's Vicky Souster, Education and Development Manager and Open Doors Lead, the programme that provides education and clinical mentoring for nurses and health care assistants working for general practice teams in Tower Hamlets.
Speaking about her involvement, Vicky said: "My role involved working with a small group of Practice Nurse leaders and managers from across North East London (NEL) to come up with the agenda, design the conference sessions and invite speakers to the conference. The Care Group's CEPN team was incredibly supportive as was the Chair of the conference, Mary Clarke, Director of Nursing and Corporate Development at City and Hackney GP Confederation."
Vicky continued: "The Care Group has very generously supported me to work across the North East London area to help develop Practice Nurses and Practice Nurse leadership not only via the conference but in meeting together regularly, assisting with the NEL projects such as the NEL Leadership programme and mentoring and supporting new leaders."
Feedback from delegates is unanimous. All agreed that the conference was a huge success. Comments shared after the event include:
"It was a really great day. Meeting lots of fellow nurses from all over NEL was definitely a highlight. The talks were relevant and inspiring. I particularly enjoyed hearing about the PA and NA roles, hearing the GP view on Practice Nurses role. Angie's QNI talk was really inspiring and has given me some great additional resources and Jill's contraception talk was also great. I could actually make positive comments about all of the talks today. By far my favourite conference I have ever attended!"
"Really re-invigorating and inspiring from presentations to interactions with colleagues 'on the ground'."
"Thank you for an excellent and much needed event for GPNs. A fantastic forum for dissemination of information pertinent to practitioners and opportunity for nurses to voice their concerns."
Well done to all involved in making this a successful event.
To access speaker presentations, videos and the photo gallery of the event, visit: www.thcepn.com/nelgpnconference2019