The Nursing in Practice summer issue looks at how nursing provision in care homes has been hit by funding issues, poor pay and negative perceptions of the sector. But those working in social care are piecing together promising solutions.

Nursing in Practice Summer

The Covid pandemic was a clear reminder of just how important social care is, with nurses and other staff looking after the elderly and society’s most vulnerable, often under difficult circumstances.

The sector continues to be under stress, with government funding for places reduced, and an increasing number of providers in the sector making the decision that costly nursing care is something they no longer are able to offer. There is concern that the number of nurses working in care homes is dropping to a worrying level, with continuing issues with recruitment and pay.

In Nursing in Practice’s summer issue, England’s chief nurse for social care, Professor Deborah Sturdy, tells us about work to ‘shine a light’ on nursing in the social care sector and to raise its profile. However, ‘It’s about long-term investment,’ she says.

Rather than struggling to recruit, the adult social care sector needs to attract and retain and attract the most highly skilled nurses, for roles that are complex and highly demanding.

Our cover feature ‘Solving the social care puzzle’ argues that nursing in social care requires a unique skill set, and that issues around nurse recruitment and other issues for the sector, urgently need attention.

In Nursing in Practice’s summer issue, we also look at boosting child immunisation uptake, how nurses can help counter the rise in eating disorder, and key actions for chronic disease management and QOF in general practice.

We also examine how primary care can be more inclusive to transgender patients. A nurse lecturer and past general practice nurse says: ‘In our profession, for trans people to receive the best standards of health and social care, nurses and other clinicians must be properly informed.. my main advice is to treat everyone equally and without judgement.’

Articles in a busy summer edition also include a profile of the experience of an advanced nurse practitioner working as a homelessness outreach nurse, operating from a mobile van in Stoke-on-Trent. She tells us: ‘We’ll see people for a variety of reasons, from a simple chat to needle exchange or treatments… we’re all ANPs, so we can use electronic prescribing where appropriate’.

And in our Lessons in Leadership series, a lead nurse in a Primary Care Network shares her unique experience of advocating for general practice nursing through her place on a Local Medical Committee board. She has strong views on what needs to be discussed. ‘I think there is a lack of understanding about what general practice nurses do,’ she says. ‘There needs to be a greater appreciation of the value of these roles.’

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