Sunday, 9 October 2011

Cod and Alphabet Spaghetti, Outcomes and Abstracts, and Cello has a Rest

Thursday I spent the day in Liverpool. At the Hilton Hotel which has to occupy the windiest and coldest spot in the whole of the City. I was there to take part in the Council of Deans of Health full meeting (CoD). This is a group that represents nurses and allied health professionals and ensures these professions have a voice at the political table. On this occasion, there were 119 members in attendance, a record number of Deans and Heads of School from each of the four countries of the UK. The agenda was a packed one and although there was some time to network, our noses were firmly held to the grindstone.

I enjoyed the discussion and exploration of the recently announced Education Outcomes Framework (EOF) consultation. This is an extremely important work for all educational providers, and colleagues across the UK are encouraged to respond. The framework supports the integrated healthcare workforce in meeting the clinical outcomes set out in the NHS, public health and social care outcomes frameworks – the overarching policy within which the education framework is nested.

From a educational perspective the EOF identifies what Health Education England (HEE) is likely to expect in terms of outcomes and how these outcomes would monitored by the Department of Health, HEE, and HEE and the Local Education and Training Boards (LETBs) and the LETBs and providers such as our School. Perhaps somewhat closer to the Schools ambitions the EOF provides a direct line of sight between education and training we provide and how this impacts upon patient experience.

Colleagues in the School are resurrecting a bid to see how we might best involve service users in articulating a view as to how we are preparing nurse for practice. I expect we can also transpose this to social care, and I would love to be able to do something similar with social policy! The EOF is being promoted as a catalyst for driving quality improvement and outcome measurement throughout the NHS, and I am sure in the fullness of time, a series of Key Performance Indicators (KPI). One way or the other the EOF is an important piece of work that needs commenting on – so go online and make your voice heard.

This week has also seen me writing a series of abstracts for next year’s NET/NEP conference in the US (you either know these abbreviations or not, and life is too short to write out every full name). Writing abstracts is one of my favourite things to do. I love the challenge of ‘selling’ an idea or an outcome in 300 words or less – I also like the challenge of finding a title that will stand out from the rest. Last year NET/NEP received over 900 abstracts and so it can be difficult to make sure your abstract sticks in the mind of the scientific committee. I hope to have achieved this with the abstracts sent in.

This week the weather changed here in the UK – for the worse. The sunshine and heat of last week was replaced by rain, high winds and cold. The cold has turned the green leaves of my blueberry plant crimson – amazing. Wednesday morning at 05.00 am, it was very dark, close to freezing, but with a sky filled with bright stars. As romantic as this sounds, taking Cello out in the morning has been rather like going for a walk dragging a reluctant soggy brown paper bag behind you – but as this week marks two years of getting up at 05.30 for a walk maybe he is entitled to the odd lie in.

And Alun, thanks for the good news, Keith a healthy diet does not usually come out of a polystyrene container, Sue, Happy Birthday – life begins at 50, Karen, Olga and Jurate, thanks for the wonderful company at dinner this week, well done Ieuan, it couldn’t have been easy, Dean and Sam, you’re a perfect pair, Stewart, remember there is usually no gain without a little pain, especially when trying to stand on your own two feet, Ghassan, well done, and I am glad I hold a Gold Card with Emirates, Sarah, keep the emails flowing, and many congratulations to Nancy, Jane, Nick and Jill, all of whom secured Associate Head roles in the School, against some stiff competition.