Practice nurses at the forefront of family and community health services
Practice nurses have an invaluable role to play in addressing the health needs of local communities, Northern Ireland Chief Nursing Officer Martin Bradley said today.
Speaking at the Nursing in Practice Conference and Exhibition for practice nurses in Belfast Mr Bradley said: "Practice nurses are at the forefront of family and community health.
"Employed by GP practices, they engage daily with their local population. Their work is invaluable in not only addressing local needs but also in health promotion and improving the quality of life of those with chronic diseases.
"An event such as this provides an opportunity for our practice nurses to network and familiarise themselves with new technologies and techniques, service design and strategic developments.
"This is essential as individuals and communities become more involved in decision making on matters relating to their own health."
Highlighting the many issues of the health service in which practice nurses are involved on a daily basis, including alcohol and drug abuse, cancer, coronary heart disease and strokes, suicide and child obesity, Mr Bradley said:
"Health is a fundamental right. All citizens should have equal rights to health, fair and equitable access to health services and health information according to their needs.
"The nursing contribution comes through joined up teamwork, supporting health in early years and through schools and community development."
Alongside the exhibitions at the Nursing in Practice Conference, a series of seminars and talks were taking place throughout the day attended by many nurses from across the province.