FoNS Blog

Yes we can change the world but do we know how?

06 December 2016

Sue Spencer, Independent Consultant Facilitator


“As nurses I think that we need to not only believe that we can change the world but also we need to understand how we can change the world” – emphasis mine.

This quote comes from Teresa Chinn’s blog (http://teresachinn.co.uk/) and it has got me thinking about how we can encourage awareness of the bigger picture within the health and social care landscape. I appreciate that it is all too easy to get caught up in the busyness of doing the job. The importance of getting stuff done always trumps thinking about the bigger picture BUT I really believe that it is vital that we pay attention to that bigger picture once in a while. Knowing how to improve the experiences of care for patients, carers and ourselves as practitioners requires one to be a wee bit politically savvy. Knowing who might be the key influencers, who might support our projects and who might be less than supportive – this is about not just nose to the grindstone thinking but it is about understanding the context of care and how that might influence the experience.

Gathering and using experiences of care

29 November 2016

Jo Odell, FoNS Practice Development Facilitator

Today I am presenting at a HCUK conference on gathering and using experiences of care. As the lead facilitator for the Patients First Programme (run by FoNS with the support of the Burdett Trust for Nursing), I am passionate about enabling health and social care teams to listen and work in partnership with the people cared for in their service, and to use this to enable change.

The Patients First Programme provides support for teams by equipping them with the methods and approaches they need to listen to patients and staff (at the workshop days) and then by providing workplace facilitation to enable teams to have the confidence to put these into practice. Here are four projects who have gathered and used people's experiences in different ways:

'Let's Talk about Miscarriage'

To date the project team have worked with staff on the ward to understand their values and beliefs and also gathered written personal experiences from women via a miscarriage support group. Initially these written experiences were shared amongst the project team and a small group of nursing staff from the ward. Based on the impact of hearing these powerful, personal accounts, the team decided that holding a listening event would be great way to enable a deeper understanding of the experiences of women and to encourage key stakeholders to engage in the process of redesigning the care pathway. The project leader discovered that there was a local arts based organisation that had experience of narrating stories or personal experiences and so she made contact with them and secured their services. The project leader then invited a variety of key stakeholders across the whole patient journey and hired the beautiful Botanical Gardens of Wales. The result was that although listening to the stories was both very powerful and emotional, the beautiful gardens gave us the opportunity to hear these and balance them with the visual of th

Considerations of person-centred curriculum: lessons learnt from sharing experiences

22 November 2016

Maria Mackay, University of Wollongong and Ailsa McMillan, Queen Margaret University

l-r: Maria Mackay and Ailsa McMillan

Both the University of Wollongong and Queen Margaret University (QMU) are in the process of curriculum review for their Bachelor of Nursing Programmes. The two universities may be in different hemispheres of the world and are required to meet different standards for re-accreditation, however both face the same challenge of moving towards a person-centred curriculum that prepares future registered nurses to be caring and compassionate in the care they provide. Maria Mackay is an academic staff member at the University of Wollongong and Ailsa McMillian is an academic staff member at Queen Margaret University, both are PhD students within the Centre for Person- Centred Practice Research at QMU. The reflections below represent a visit by both of us to the University of Ulster where we had the privilege of sharing a conversation with two inspiring colleagues.

What place ruthlessness in health and social care?

15 November 2016

Theresa Shaw, FoNS CEO


Last night, I had the very great pleasure of listening to Dame Stella Rimington, former Director General of MI5 address the HSJ's Women Leaders Network. Dame Stella was the first woman to become Director General of the Security Service in 1992 and perhaps even more significantly, she was the first Director General to be publicly acknowledged and visible as she led a new direction of greater openness to the public about the work of the security service.


As she was speaking at a ‘women leaders’ event, part of her brief was to share her career story as a woman and as you might expect she shared many of her experiences of working in what was then, very much a ‘man’s world’. She described her experience as a woman as not just be held back by a 'glass ceiling' but being contained in a glass box as the work of espionage was not seen as something women were suited to. 


Gardening in challenging nature

08 November 2016

Marit Langesæter, Kristin Ådnøy Eriksen and Sølvi Eide Lunde

(l-r) Marit Langesæter, Kristin Ådnøy Eriksen and Sølvi Eide Lunde

We are three teachers from Stord Haugesund University College, Norway. After participating in a FoNS-hosted practice development school we started practicing our newly gained skills in various settings, both with educational and clinical purposes. We blended creativity with cognition when teaching and facilitating the post graduate course ‘Elderly, health and community’. We used methods to involve everybody when planning curriculum together with a team of colleagues responsible for part of the bachelor-course (nursing). We organised a ‘Dignity-day’ together with pupils, students and elderly persons resulting in posters, poems, dance and role-play. And we facilitated practice development journeys according to the practice development text book in seminars for staff working in the hospital (see McCormack et al., 2013).