Letter from the chair - autumn 2013

Published: 08 October 2013

Forum chair, Isobel Mason, nurse consultant, gastroenterology, Royal Free London Hospitals Foundation Trust, reports on an exceptionally busy year for the forum and its members

We’re in the process of collating the report from our online membership survey and hope to publish the results in the next few months. Many thanks to all members who took the time to complete it. We will, of course, listen carefully to your views and will try our best to address any issues you have raised.

Liver disease competence framework launch

In February 2013, the Department of Health in partnership with the RCN launched Caring for People with Liver Disease: A Competence Framework for Nursing. This framework has been really well received, stimulating much debate and further work. I highly recommend it to all nurses, whatever your clinical background. We all meet patients at risk of developing liver disease. This framework will inform and support your care and contact with any patient you meet. We have advertised it far and wide and plan to work with the RCN Public Health Forum to continue its implementation.

Congress 2013

RCN Congress took place in May this year, in Liverpool, with several forum committee members attending and voting on your behalf. Whilst there, attending committee members took the opportunity to promote the new RCN/DH liver disease competence framework at a fringe event. They were also supporting a successful resolution with the Older People’s Forum calling for UK governments and local authorities to protect and promote referral and access to alcohol advice and support services. The latter resolution was passed by just over 97 per cent.

Diarrhoea resource

The RCN’s new guidance, The Management of Diarrhoea in Adults: RCN Guidance for Nursing staff, was developed with patients and health care workers to help recognise and support the management of acute diarrhoea in adult patients, regardless of the care setting. It also highlights the effects of this common and debilitating condition, which can severely affect a person’s ability to lead a normal active life, potentially leading to isolation and depression. The report also discusses the impact that diarrhoea, whether acute or chronic, can have on those who are supporting or caring for affected patients, including family, carers or members of the patient’s health care team.

IBD Nurses Network

This network continues to strengthen, providing a bold voice for irritable bowel disease (IBD) nurses and the opportunity to network together. IBD nurses are involved in the revision of the National standards for IBD care, due to be published in late 2013, as well as the development of the IBD Quality Improvement Project (QIP) and the ongoing Royal College of Physicians Audit. We are also devising the next round of the RCN IBD nursing audit.

These projects are just a small part of our committee work. We always welcome your comments, thoughts or requests, so please do not hesitate to contact us.