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Nursing at its best

Donna Davenport gives her perspective of chairing the Nursing In Practice Event in Manchester and shares some of her personal highlights from the day ...

I want to share with you some of the highlights of the event and hope for those of you who haven't attended yet that that you will be encouraged to come to future conferences, which are run across the country and are free so there really is no excuse!

There are always a number of streams from which you can choose what is most appropriate to support your individual continuing professional development.

The first session for us gave us an overview of contraception and in particular the latest development - Nuvaring. Never before have women had so much choice in contraception and Gilly Andrews, Clinical Nurse Specialist in Sexual Health, gave an interesting insight into this new development.

Next up, Sheila Wilson and Esther Pears, both based in Manchester and coincidentally on World Hepatitis Day presented their session on hepatitis C. They are committed to raising awareness for both patients and healthcare professionals, reinforcing the message that this condition can be cured. Esther talked about working in partnership with community colleagues and the multidisciplinary team to improve the care that patients receive. They concluded with clear messages we can all give regarding universal precautions to reduce hepatitis C infection.

A regular at NIP Event is Jennifer Percival, Tobacco Policy Advisor (UK) at the Royal College of Nursing. Once again, Jennifer did not disappoint. Key messages from her presentation focused around nicotine delivery and dosage when prescribing nicotine replacement therapy, with combined therapy achieving significantly higher success rates. Individual choice is paramount if patients are to achieve success in smoking cessation and there is still a great deal to be done in this area.

Following lunch we were treated to an afternoon kick start session by the Royal Northern College of Music who gave a wonderful demonstration of their work in participatory music making in health and social care settings. Their work was inspirational and clearly showed the power of music no matter what age.

The first session in the afternoon was delivered by Nigel Fray, Stakeholder Regulation Manager at NHS Choices. A straw poll of the audience showed many healthcare professionals had not visited the site, and even fewer had signposted patients to it. Have you? And are you aware of the impending patient feedback on GP Practices to be launched in Autumn 2009? I would urge you to visit the site now (!

Finally, we were given the wonderful opportunity of hearing about the benefits of telehealth in the community by Sara Trow, Heart Failure Community Matron, Blackpool PCT. Sara gave a moving and inspiring talk about her work for which she won a Nursing In Practice (NIP) Award in 2008. Our Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) Code of Conduct tells us we must always act in the patients' best interests and Sara clearly achieves this in her work in which patients are empowered to make choices about where and how they receive care.

She demonstrated multiprofessional teamwork and the ability to step out of professional boundaries and challenge traditional ways of working using evidence-based practice. Technology is often criticised when things go wrong but Sara showed technology at its best. The audience urged her to get published and she promised to give this some serious thought.

This is only a sample of the high calibre of speakers and topics, there were many more throughout the day. All the presentations can be viewed on line. I would urge you to visit the NIP Event calendar and book your place. You will be truly inspired!