My Year as a CC4C Nurse Integrated Care Fellow

I have actually been part of the CC4C team for 18 months but that doesn’t sound as catchy in the title!

As a nurse member of a predominantly doctor-led integrated care model, the last 18 months have given me a wonderful opportunity to explore and understand the meaning of integrated care and what it could mean for nurses of the future. I started the role with some understanding of integrated care, but quickly became immersed in a whole new approach to healthcare.

I have had some fantastic opportunities to learn about quality improvement methodology and approaches to patients’ experience that I had never heard of before, such as emotional mapping and Sequential Simulation . Seeing co-design with local communities being undertaken in its truest form has made me wonder ‘why aren’t we doing this more?’ Communities know their health inequalities and have the drive and skills to address them, and we need to be better at supporting them to do this, without taking over.

I have had the opportunity to co-design and facilitate a programme of health workshops and support Baby Resus sessions alongside other specialist child health colleagues. Both of these have enabled me to engage with parents to address their specific health concerns and promote the health and wellbeing of children. The feedback from parents and professionals highlights the need to do more integrated health promotion co-designed with communities to address their specific need and empower them to take greater proactive steps to support the health and wellbeing of their community.

The early years dashboard, being developed in collaboration with North West London’s integrated care team has been an exciting project to be involved in. It aims to use health and social data to identify individual children and populations at risk of health inequality due to exposure to known vulnerabilities during the first 1000 days (conception to 2 years of age). I am excited to see the development of this dashboard and look forward to seeing it being used by all health professionals alongside community advocates, to identify vulnerable populations and support integrated care work streams with communities to reduce these risks.

I am a firm believer that all health professionals need to be proactive about engaging with integrated care models for the benefit of their patients and wider communities. Nurses are in a key position to do this, regardless of whether they work on a general ward in an acute setting, in a specialist clinical nursing role, or as a community nurse, health visitor, school nurse, practice nurse, or one of the other many nursing roles. With integrated care being at the core of the Long Term Plan, it is vital nurses begin to understand what it means for them in their role, as well as for their patients and communities. It is encouraging to see integrated care and QI methodology being highlighted as key proficiencies in the NMC (2018) ‘Future nurse: Standards of proficiency for registered nurses’. Certainly my own training did not include such elements, therefore to support the current nursing workforce I have been fortunate to engage with proactive nurse educators and deliver a brief oversight of CC4C and integrated care from a nursing perspective to three cohorts of nurses at local universities.

My time with CC4C may be coming to an end, but my time within integrated care is just beginning. The skills and knowledge I have gained over the past 18 months will be invaluable in my future roles, and for that I thank all the CC4C members past and present. My departing pledge is to continue to raise awareness of the CC4C model of integrated care, champion the nursing role within integrated care and highlight the need to truly work in collaboration with local communities to improve the health and wellbeing of all our children.

You can read about the work Jen did teaching families to understand child health better using the families themselves to design (‘co-produce’) the sessions
CC4C has a key role in developing all professionals to think differently. Here is another blog from a nurse who joined CC4C