THERE are some things in life at which we’re not experts, and we shouldn’t kid ourselves that we are.
Plumbing is one. Anything involving electricity is another.
If we know fixing something requires us to find someone suitable, rather than undertake something risky ourselves, then it makes sense to do so.
In healthcare we need a wealth of skills & abilities to enable great care, and we really need our specialist colleagues.
Type 1 diabetes care is a great example of this, and as a general practice nurse, I believe we need to link with, and learn from our patients, our communities, and our specialist colleagues to ensure we deliver the best care possible.
We need our expert generalists too. ‘Jack of all trades masters of many’ could sum up the role of GPs & GPNs. Where would we all be without the expertise of general practice?
From my experience, we may trade differently and work with different methods, but ultimately we can complement each other. A nurse colleague, Susan Mason, and I supported diabetes communities. You can read about it here.
What unites specialists & generalists? Where do our unique strengths & assets lie? One word – EDUCATION!
Understanding what our patients need, and then moving towards assimilating our collective skills & abilities to improve health & social care. This should be our primary goal – this is our trade.
The Five Year Forward View promotes new models of care, joint working & new roles for many. It is debatable whether a synergy exists currently in working practices in hospitals and communities to achieve the goals of the five year forward. We cannot do this without patients, carers & communities. Will focusing on seven day services be enough? Or should we create a radical movement in improving health literacy at population level?
It is clear to me that how we learn and work has many facets and challenges. Addressing these challenges can drive up the multifaceted developments required to improve health outcomes.
My wish list for partnership working includes the following:
1 Patients, generalists & specialists striving towards mutual learning & understanding.
2 Creation of new practice support roles, how we communicate, and modes of learning should be integral to our care.
3 Technology supported learning, problem based & experimental learning embedded within communities.
We ignore education at our peril! So let’s trade together & build.
Louise Brady is clinical lead for practice nursing and GPN special adviser, based in Manchester
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