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Montage headshots of Mary Clarke, Jane Clegg, audience member, and Sam Everington at NEL Practice Nurses Conference
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North East London Practice Nurses Futures Conference

City nursing staff and alumni took part in the first NEL Health and Care Partnership conference for Practice Nurses.

by Shamim Quadir (Senior Communications Officer)

Organised by the Tower Hamlets Community Education Provider Network (CEPN), the inaugural North East London (NEL) Health and Care Partnership Practice Nurse Conference - ‘NEL Practice Nurse Futures Conference’ - took place on 19 November 2019 at the Prince Regent Hotel, Chigwell.

The conference provided an opportunity for health professionals from across the seven boroughs of the NEL partnership (City and Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest, Barking and Dagenham, and Havering and Redbridge) to share, and learn about, local and national best practice relevant to practice nursing.

The event hosted over 90 participants, including practice nurses, nursing associates and advanced nurse practitioners from across the NEL partnership boroughs, with many alumni of the Division of Nursing, City, University of London. Participants engaged in a diverse range of workshops, including on end of life (palliative) care, leadership training, travel heath, contraception and cancer care.

Mary Clarke, Director of Nursing and Corporate Development, City & Hackney GP Confederation

Chaired by Mary Clarke, Director of Nursing and Corporate Development, City & Hackney GP Confederation and organised by Vicky Souster, Education and Development Manager, Tower Hamlets GP Care Group CIC, the conference celebrated the unique role and contribution that practice nurses make to primary care.

The opening keynote speech was delivered by Jane Clegg, Acting Joint Regional Chief Nurse, London NHS England and NHS Improvement, in which she discussed the question, 'where to next for practice nursing?'.

Further talks included a presentation from Angie Hack, Project Manager at the Queens' Nursing Institute (QNI) on 'Raising the voice of GPNs' (general practice nurses), and a joint presentation from Sam Everington, Chair, Tower Hamlets CCG, and Anwar Khan, former Clinical Chair, Waltham Forest CCG, on providing the GP (general practitioner) view of the future of practice nursing in a changing primary care landscape.

Marie Hill, Senior Lecturer in Practice Nursing, and Kat Millward, Lecturer in Advanced Practice and Community Practice Education Lead, both at City, University of London, acted as facilitators for the group sessions of the conference. They summarised and communicated feedback from conference attendees about the strengths practice nurses bring to the primary care team and primary care networks that is unique to their role now and what new learning will be needed for the practice nursing team in their future roles.

Marie Hill, Senior Lecturer in Practice Nursing, City, University of London

Reflecting on the event, Marie Hill commented:

“The NEL conference was an inspiring event and was made particularly special meeting many of our past and current undergraduate and postgraduate primary care practice nurse students.”

The conference provided a valuable opportunity for showcasing educational opportunities at City, with offerings as varied as one day short courses through to post-registration modules and degrees. Extensive networking by our staff with many City alumni was undertaken.

The conference organisers were also congratulated by attendees with many practice nurses reporting how the event showcased practice nursing and the valuable networking opportunities it provided.

Kat Millward, Lecturer in Advanced Practice and Community Practice Education Lead, City, University of London

Kat Millward reflected on the opportunity to further support City alumni, saying:

It was lovely to see so many previous City students. Lots of nurses came up to us and said they did their nursing degrees or other post-qualification training with us so it was good to show them what else we can offer to support their career development.

Mary Clarke, chair of the conference, said:

“Delighted to have chaired the first NEL London GPN Conference. Lots of enthusiasm throughout the day. General practice nurses heard from fantastic speakers who encouraged them to think outside of the box, get out there and get a voice. We heard general practitioners talk passionately about the role and the contribution that practice nurses make and to think positively about themselves as leaders. We were talking to the leaders of the future.”

Vicky Souster, organiser of the conference, said:

“For the first time ever Practice Nurses, trainee Nursing Associates and Advanced Nurse Practitioners came together from all seven boroughs in the NEL footprint to celebrate their roles, skills and experience and think about the future within the changing structures and staff complement of general practice teams. The feedback proved that the event was a wonderfully positive event for the attendees.”

Find out more

For further information about all speakers, full slides and videos of presentations, and a photo gallery of the conference, visit the conference webpage at the Tower Hamlets CEPN website.

For further information about undergraduate and postgraduate study opportunities at City, visit our Division of Nursing course pages.

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