Yet most staff probably don’t realise that the knowledge acquired through doing the job is something of great value to those planning services, particularly where largescale change is being proposed.
The East of England Clinical Senate is looking to change this, by bringing in new nursing staff to help in their work consulting on major planned change in the NHS.
But it isn’t all about what you can give them – by being part of their work you could also benefit from development opportunities which can be used as part of revalidation.
Sue Edwards, head of the East of England Clinical Senate, said: “Those taking part in our meetings are bringing their own clinical knowledge to the table.
“They are not there on behalf of their employer. We are interested in that knowledge and I don’t think nurses always realise the skillset that they have.
“I would like to see more nurses on our panels because of the valuable insight and knowledge they bring to our discussions.”
The Clinical Senate role is unpaid, but your experiences could be priceless.
By joining the senate you will be invited to attend senate meetings, be a member of a clinical review panel or join a working group. Your expertise, skills and knowledge will help support the strategic planning process.
You might be invited to give your views on vascular and emergency care, cardiac and renal services, children’s services or any other area of care where changes are planned.
A certificate of attendance is given to those attending meetings, which can be used as part of the revalidation process.
“The Senate benefits from the skills and knowledge nurses bring, but we also see this as a training and development opportunity for nurses,” Sue said.
“For a typical day-long meeting we would award a 12-hour certificate of attendance to cover the time the meeting takes as well as the reading required around it.”
Sue said that the Senate focussed on patient outcomes and not on money or cost savings.
“If we look at an issue and we can see a large cost element, we might flag this up in our report but it is not what we make our recommendations on,” she said.
“With any proposed changes to services we would hope to see an improvement in the quality of care and outcomes achieved as far as possible.”
Membership of the Clinical Senate Assembly is open to all health and care professionals of all grades. There is no obligation for members to have to get involved in anything but you will be the first to be invited to be clinical review panel members and get a priority to join the annual Assembly. So why not use your local knowledge of health services to make sure the voices of nursing staff are heard?