FoNS Blog

Healthcare in the Community: Inspiring Quality and Success

20 September 2016

Theresa Shaw, FoNS CEO


I have had the pleasure of spending yesterday and today at the Annual Queen’s Nursing Institute Conference, Healthcare in the Community: Inspiring Quality and Success – Shaping the Future of Nursing.


When talking about the future of healthcare and nursing, the great work of community nurses is often overlooked; somewhat surprising bearing in mind the growing pressure for more care to be delivered in the community. Events such as these draw attention to the plethora of innovation and improvement activities nurses are leading. Spreading and sharing these widely so that others can use and implement rather than expending energy on ’reinventing the wheel’ is essential. However, to make this happen more often there needs to be a shift in both thinking and ways of working. It was therefore really positive to hear the reflections and perspectives of some key leaders.

Reflections on the start of my nursing career

13 September 2016

Jo Odell, FoNS Practice Development Facilitator


As my youngest son returns to university for the third year of his biomedical degree I was reflecting on my time as a student nurse. I think it’s good to recall, as an experienced nurse, these memories and hold them in mind when you are acting as a mentor to a student or nurse who is new to your area.


I was fortunate to enrol onto one of the first nursing degree courses at Guy’s Hospital and London Southbank Polytechnic (now University) over 30 years ago. This was a four year programme with periods of practice and block periods of formal learning in the university.


My strongest memory is of being treated as something of an ‘oddity’ on placement, not many nurses were familiar with the new course. But I remember one ward sister who spent time getting to know me and what my learning needs were. She spent regular time with me reflecting on practice. I think I learnt the most from her and the time she invested in me.

Enhancing Practice 2016

06 September 2016

Theresa Shaw, FoNS CEO


Last week I spent three days at the IPDC Biennial Enhancing Practice Conference 2016, hosted by Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh. The title of the event was ‘Unearthing the Architecture of Practice Patterns’, with the aim of helping participants to explore at a deeper level what happens in practice, the patterns (ways of working and behaviours) which shape the way practice is both delivered and experienced, taking account of the complexities of health and social care with the competing priorities and targets amongst the most challenging for us to navigate.


Attended by around 140 practitioners from around the world the three days offered a unique opportunity to share experiences and learning about the ways in which practice development can enable person-centred cultures across a wide range of practice settings.

The importance of language

30 August 2016

Debbie Warren


I’ve noticed recently a couple of ‘new’ expressions’ people seem to be using a lot. And I also noticed that I didn’t like them but wasn’t entirely sure why. So having given this a bit of thought, here goes…


‘It is what it is’:

This is of course true. But the problem I have with this expression is its finality, the suggestion that there’s nothing that can be done about the situation, that you’re worrying too much, in a sense it’s almost fated to be that way. Here’s an example from the World of Psychology blog http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2015/05/02/it-is-what-it-is/ When I told my dad how upset I was that I had not been accepted into the college of my choice, he looked up at me and replied, “It is what it is, honey.” So, what do I hear? Firstly, there’s nothing you can do about this and secondly, you’re worrying over something unimportant.

Are you the next pioneer for nursing and the people you care for?

16 August 2016

Jo Odell, FoNS Practice Development Facilitator


“All hail the pioneers who have made possible Britain’s golden era in previously uncharted territory”


This was the Evening Standard headline that I read yesterday on my commute home. The country is gripped by the Rio Olympics and the great success that Team GB has enjoyed particularly in sports that, as a country, we have never celebrated great success in before.


The journalist went on to highlight the importance of remembering the so called ‘trail blazers’, the likes of Sir Steve Redgrave in rowing and Dame Kelly Holmes in running who have inspired this future generation of sporting heroes


“It’s a special kind of sporting triumph not only to achieve great things, but to make great things possible for those that follow. Salute the pioneers, then: and never forget them as we cheer those that follow.”(London Evening Standard 15th August 2016)


Many nurses also talk about people who have inspired them, other nurses and care professionals, patients and families. At FoNS we are often inspired by the great people we work with, whose enthusiasm and commitment to continually improving care and services are in abundance despite the rising challenges experienced across health and social care.