The deputy director of community nursing for NHS England, Sam Sherrington, has spoken about how impressed she is by the integration, personalised care and leadership on a recent visit to the community nursing teams on Friday.
She spent a day with the Carlisle community teams speaking to staff and attending patient visits. She was keen to learn about great practice and to find out our journey for quality improvement and quality outcomes for patients.
She was impressed and explained:
“The thing that is most impressive to me is the integration, so I think that north Cumbria integration is a way of working; it is very natural to the teams here – it is a part of who they are and their working style, they have a really fantastic approach to their integration and their professional pathways together.
“The other thing is their personalisation. So all staff members I have met today, student nurses, registered nurses and therapists, they have all been very passionate about patients and personalised care, delivering care to people in their own home or in the place that they call home and that has just been so impressive to see. The third thing is around innovation so they are thinking of new ways of working new approaches, particularly learning from covid.”
The visit was organised by senior community nurse Kylie Riley. Kylie represents north Cumbria on the National Shared decision making council which is chaired by Sam. She is one of 27 national representatives who were selected from a pool of 500 applicants.
Kylie explained that Sam’s visits has opened up opportunities for our staff too:
“The good stuff from today is obviously recognising what we do as community nurses in our teams but I think probably the best thing is the opportunities Sam has given our team members. She has offered one of our district nurses the opportunity to work on the national palliative care programme and Sam has offered one of our male team leads the opportunity to be involved in a campaign for men in nursing.
“It’s been really good and I think that her visit has lifted the morale of the teams. Having Sam come across we’ve realised how much we do, how much the team and the Trust has done throughout COVID in the community to support our patients. The patients have really enjoyed it as well – especially when they find out who she is.”
Sam spoke to a range of staff including students, registered nurses and therapy staff and is keen to scale up and spread some of the good practice she saw and heard about including our work on supporting deteriorating patients, insulin administration and our grown your own workforce initiative.
“Today I have met a nursing associate and it was fantastic to talk to about how she has been invested in and how she has developed and grown internally in terms of her abilities for her career opportunities. I love how we have different student nurses here and they talked about their experiences, how they were able to meet their learning objectives and can see the opportunities available for when they qualify. Those opportunities have been created within the organisation and I think that is really fantastic.”
“I have also met some patients and I think that patient experience and care of patients is of the utmost importance. What they told me is that they felt the teams are outstanding.”
Sam was also impressed by the focus on staff health and wellbeing as well as leadership adding:
“Lots of the staff have told me how supportive they feel and how included and valued and it is wonderful to see their comradery as a team, as a wider team and also as an organisation. I think the leadership here is excellent, the leadership at all levels and it is just brilliant to see in action.”
Salli Pilcher associate director of nursing for community and ICC care group said:
“It’s been an absolute privilege to be able to show Sam a small part of what we are doing. Sam has been to north Carlisle but we have 8 ICCs we cover inner city, urban remote and rural areas and it would be lovely to have her back to see some of our rural and remote areas.
“I think that it has given staff a huge boost and it is nice to get north Cumbria on the map. We are innovative and we do a lot of fantastic work, we don’t shout about it and often when we do we realise that we are at the leading edge of some of the developments.
“It is really nice to celebrate with Sam what we do well and to learn from her about what we can do more of in the future in order to develop safe high quality patient care for our patients, their families and the communities that we serve in north Cumbria.”
Jill Foster, chief nurse for North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust said:
“Our community teams are undoubtably innovative and resourceful faced with a challenging landscape.
“I hear tales every day of how they have gone the extra mile for our patients. During storm Arwen I know cars were abandoned and our community staff walked the rest of the way to their patients, they regularly don their wellies to get to patients who have been cut off by the elements and I know how passionately they care about personalised patient care.
“They are an important part of the Trust's nursing teams and I am immensely proud to be their chief nurse.”