A vision for the future of community nursing was set out by Ros Moore, Chief Nursing Officer for the Scottish Government, at the Nursing in Practice event in Glasgow yesterday.
As part of her keynote speech, 'Nursing today, tomorrow and beyond', Ms Moore said she would like to see smoother transitions between services so that vulnerable patients remain in place, with better access to the care and treatment they need. This would involve strengthening links between primary, secondary and tertiary services with a better use of new technology.
Currently, Scotland faces the challenge of an ageing population with high poverty levels, and a need for more hospital beds and specialist care services. There is also a mismatch between the investment placed in healthcare and the opportunities given to poorer communities, which needs to be dealt with over the coming months.
One way to do this, said Ms Moore, was to attach greater importance to early life parenting, with more help for parents and young families to ensure health and wellbeing in later life. She added that prevention is key to attaining cost-effective care in Scotland, with a focus on helping patients to lead healthier lives and self-manage the chronic conditions many are living with.
Ms Moore was speaking at the NiP event, which took place in Glasgow at the SECC yesterday. Around 750 nurses attended the event to listen to an array of speakers on topics relevant to nurses working in primary care in the UK.
Other sessions popular with delegates on the day included addressing palliative care needs in the community and two sessions on sexual health, discussing the high rates of teenage pregnancy in Scotland and sexual health in adults.
"I was at the Glasgow Conference and fully agreed with Ms Moore's ideas but these would require a change of attitude within the health service and a dramatic change in how funding has been spread as much of the funding or should I say the vast majority of funding has been for the acute sector. When we had Trusts the community trusts always seemed to manage their budgets but the Acute areas were always short and now the funding has been swallowed up by the acute side which has left the community side not able to get its fair share and do what it was trying to do and care for people more and more within the community" - I Forbes, West Lothian