For suggestions and contributions to the FoNS Weekly News, please contact Debbie Warren [email protected] Newsletters are sent on Wednesdays. Copy deadline 11.00am Tuesdays.

FoNS News: Leadership, events and a new project

18 January 2017

FoNS Blog

New perspectives – this week FoNS Practice Development Facilitator, Jo Odell, talks about developing new perspectives and making the most of every day. Time to change? Read more …


Fostering a Culture of Effectiveness through Practice Development

Date: 3-7 July 2017 

Time and time again news reports on health (including the recent turnaround for Addenbrooks) emphasise the importance of strong and effective leadership, and the need for a positive workplace cultures. This 5 day residential IPDC practice development school offers ‘a significant development opportunity for practitioners (nurses and AHPs) in health and social care to develop their skills and confidence as facilitative leaders of culture change with a focus on enabling person-centredness and safe, effective workplaces and services.  I believe they offer a very different experience to other leadership development opportunities because of the greater emphasis on developing skills in working with others rather than managing, telling and doing to.' (Theresa Shaw, FoNS CEO).


Visit the website for more information.



Ward Manager Summit: Developing your skills as an Effective Ward Manager, 6th February 2017, London

This summit aims to bring together current and aspiring ward managers to understand current issues and the national context, and to debate and discuss key issues and areas they are facing in practice.


  • National updates on CQC inspection processes
  • What does well-led look like?
  • Leading Change Adding Value – updates
  • Leadership skills


FoNS believes that the ward manager role (or equivalent) is crucial, as it is one of the key influences on the experience and well-being of both staff and patients. And that’s why we’re attending this event and looking forward to meeting you.


A 20% discount is available to all Friends and Associates of FoNS by quoting ref: hcuk20fons when booking. For more information, visit the website.


New project on the FoNS website

Early Discharge in Neutropenic Sepsis

The team at Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital were concerned about the often prolonged inpatient stays that low-risk patients having chemotherapy have to endure if they are admitted to hospital for febrile neutropenia. Not only does this mean that they may be staying in hospital unnecessarily, but they are also exposed to hospital acquired infections for longer than they might need to be. In order to give these patients the best care possible, the team are firstly looking to gain an insight into their experiences of care.


Tweet Chat

The summary is now available of our first Teaching Care Homes Tweet Chat, visit the WENurses website.


Next Tweet Chat: 2nd February 2017 at 8pm, we would like to explore how we can create vibrant learning environments within care homes. Visit the FoNS website for preparatory information. This Tweet Chat is being run in conjunction with WENurses and information will be available there soon.

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FoNS News: New learning, new projects and the story of the hummingbird

11 January 2017

FoNS Blog

This week FoNS Practice Development Facilitator, Kate Sanders, invites us to think about the different resources that people have available to them and how they choose to use them to help others. Visit the blog page of the website to find the story of the hummingbird trying to put out a fire with a beak full of water. Read more...


IPDJ Focus

The nursing contribution to ethical decision making by Barbara Dinten-Schmid, Liliane Stoffel, Diana Staudacher, Jane McDougall, Ruth Baumann-Hölzle and Rebecca Spirig

Nurses have a unique position in advocating for their patients, but do they always have the confidence to do this, perhaps especially in the context of multi-professional teams? This team, based in two Swiss hospitals, aimed to ‘strengthen nurses’ competence and give them greater confidence in their role’ (p 2) when advocating for their new born patient and family in terms of the difficult treatment decisions. Working with the nurses in the units, the team developed a tool to enable nurses to give a complete and professional view from a nursing (patient advocate) perspective and to empower nurses to feel more confident about their role and contribution. The expertise of the nurses was invaluable in the development of the tool.


This paper makes interesting reading for healthcare professionals who act as advocate for their patients, and encourages us to step back and think systematically about what is really needed. 


Call for papers

IPDJ call for papers – deadline for May issue is 17th January 2017 and 7th July for November publication. Click here for guidelines.


New Year, New Learning!

January's a great time for planning, and we would like to encourage you to think about joining our IPDC Practice Development School - an amazing learning and developemnt opportunity for nurses and allied helathcare professionals. FoNS believes that leadership is part of everyone's responsibility, and that this FoNS hosted residential school will provide you with the skills, understanding and techniques to become a better leader and advocate for patients and staff. Visit our website to find out more and for booking information.  


The Patients First Programme: New Projects

There are already 3 new projects on the FoNS website from the Year 8 cohort of Patients First teams. Patients First always attracts a wide variety of projects, across a range of health and social care settings.

Cwmgelli Lodge, Blackwood, Newport

Aims to create an innovative quality assurance tool which has the residents' voices and experience at its heart. 

Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Aims to develop a programme of support for patients with lipodystrophy around the issues that arise because of the effects of the condition on their body image.

Oxford Health

Aims to establish an anxiety and social inclusion group which addresses the symptoms of anxiety, social anxiety, confidence, self-esteem, loneliness and isolation.


Calling staff, residents and families in care homes!

Following on from the success of yesterday evening’s Tweet Chat on person-centredness in care homes, we invite you to join us for a Tweet Chat on how we can create vibrant learning environments within care homes. 2nd February 2017, 8pm via WENurses. There’s preparatory information on our website. Please share this, we'd love to hear from staff, residents and their families.

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FoNS News: New Year Honours, events and looking forward to 2017

04 January 2017

Honours congratulations!

FoNS would like to offer its congratulations to Professor Deborah Sturdy, FoNS Trustee, who was awarded OBE in the New Year’s Honours list for services to Older People, Dementia Care and Nursing. Information about all the FoNS Trustees is available on the FoNS website.  


FoNS Blog

This week FoNS CEO, Theresa Shaw welcomes 2017, FoNS’ 30 year anniversary, by looking at the original charitable objectives and considering how they fit with the way FoNS works today. Read more …


England Centre for Practice Development

International Community of Practice for End of life Care - Launch Symposium Report 2016

Following the launch symposium of the International Community of Practice for End of Life Care, the England Centre for Practice Development is seeking comment, consultation and review. The summary of proceedings and draft framework is available on the Canterbury Christ Church University website. Click here to see the report and here for contact information.


New report on FoNS website

Can we Talk? A Person-centred Approach to Medication Management in an Acute Psychiatric Ward

The impetus for this project was the realisation that medication management could be a time for therapeutic engagement to help prevent relapse and readmission. The team at the Tobernaveen Centre, which is a 14 bedded acute inpatient unit for patients over 65 yrs of age with functional mental illness, started by clarifying the team’s values and beliefs with regard to caring for patients and then went on to explore patients’ experiences of care on the unit, and staff perspectives. Patients are now able to interact with their named nurse many more times during the day and there has been a reduction in the use of ‘emergency’ PRN medication.   


What makes for great leadership in health and social care?

Fostering a Culture of Effectiveness through Practice Development 3-7 July 2017

Bookings open now!

FoNS brings a wealth of experience to its IPDC foundation practice development schools. FoNS has, for 30 years, been working with nurses and other healthcare professionals to support them to improve practice and has been involved in Practice Development Schools almost since their inception. All our facilitators have extensive experience working with nurses and health and social care professionals in practice. The level of expertise, commitment and passion of those delivering the school is part of what makes this school so special.  


Visit the website to find out what participants say about the schools and for booking information



Measuring, Understanding and Acting on Patient Experience Insight, 24th March 2017, London

This conference will focus on measuring, understanding and acting on patient experience insight, and demonstrating responsiveness to that insight to improve care.


Jo Odell, FoNS Practice Development Facilitator, will be presenting at this event. Her presentation will share and the varied ways in which the teams FoNS has worked with have used patient experiences in their projects and in practice to ensure care is person-centred, safe and effective. It will include:

  • Using experience as a change methodology
  • Integrating staff experience and patient experience into practice
  • Case studies of health and social care teams that FoNS has supported to lead innovation and improvement using patient experience

A 20% discount is available to all Friends and Associates of FoNS. For more information on this and other events visit the website.

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FoNS News: Teaching Care Homes Tweet Chats and proverbs!

21 December 2016

FoNS Office Closure

The FoNS office will be closed from end-of-day Friday 23rd December and will re-open 3rd January 2017. On behalf of all the staff and Trustees, we would like to wish all our Friends and Associates a very Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year.


FoNS Blog

This week the FoNS team talk about our work in 2016 and hopes for 2017. Read more …


Teaching Care Homes

The ‘Teaching Care Homes’ (TCH) pilot programme is about creating care ‘centres’ that demonstrate excellence and innovation in nurse-led care and where the learning environment benefits staff and students. FoNS is leading a programme of learning and support to help the care teams across the five care homes to become recognised as ‘flagship homes’, centres of excellence in person-centred care where learning and innovation is a continuous process. These centres will be supportive places for staff to work, where they feel valued and confident to take responsibility for care, learning and innovation. Residents and families experience effective, compassionate and safe care that is centred on their needs.


Working with FoNS, the five care home teams have created a draft vision for a Teaching Care Home and we would now like to share this and to widen the debate.


Tweet Chats

Please join us for a WeNurses-hosted Tweet Chat:

  • 10th January 2017 at 8pm, when we will be discussing person-centredness in care homes and how this can be realised for both residents and staff
  • 2nd February 2017 at 8pm, when we will be exploring how we can create vibrant learning environments within care homes


Even if you’ve never done this before, please come along and have your say (New Year resolution?). Follow these links for further information.


Institute of Healthcare Management’s: Academy of Fabulous Stuff

If you haven’t already been to this website, now’s the time. Real examples of changes, big and small, brought about by people in the health and social care. It’s truly inspiring reading (and watching).


FoNS Hosted Practice Development School

There’s an old proverb, give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day, teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. At FoNS, we would argue that Practice development school (3-7 July 2017) is a bit like learning to fish. It’s a transformative experience which equips you with firstly, the underlying understanding of what makes care and places of care person-centred; then the tools, skills and techniques to enable you to use that understanding flexibly in practice; new ways of working with colleagues, new ways of communicating and a real sense of confidence in your leadership. In fact, it’s deep sea fishing, fly fishing and tickling all in one! 



Perhaps you have a little last-minute shopping still to do? Don’t forget you can support FoNS, with no cost to yourself, just by going via the FoNS website – lots of online and high street favourites offer a small donation to the charity. Thanks!

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FoNS News: Events to brighten your New Year, motivating mental health project reports and more

14 December 2016

FoNS Blog

This week Maria Mackay of the University of Wollongong and Michele Hardiman of the Galway Clinic, talk about an evaluation of a high challenge – high support person-centred workshop. Read more …



Now’s the time to think about ways to boost your learning in the New Year. For these and other events, go to the FoNS website. Discounts are available for some events. 


Transforming End of Life Care in Acute Hospitals, 20th January 2017, London

This conference focuses on supporting you to meet the six national ambitions for end of life care within hospital, and improve care and outcomes for patients and their families, through national updates and learning from the NHS Transform Programme, and case studies demonstrating improvement in practice.

A 20% discount is available to all Friends and Associates of FoNS by quoting ref: hcuk20fons when booking.


Ward Manager Summit: Developing your Skills as an Effective Ward Manager, 6th February 2017, London

Bringing together current and aspiring ward managers, this conference will focus on key areas including developing leadership skills, improving patient experience on the ward, improving communication skills at ward level and understanding current issues and the national context.

A 20% discount is available to all Friends and Associates of FoNS by quoting ref: hcuk20fons when booking.        


Supporting FoNS through shopping

This may be a time of year when more than average quantities of shopping are done! Please think about supporting FoNS, without any cost to you, at the same time. Many of the most popular retailers offer to donate a small amount from each purchase if you go via ‘Give as you Live’ or ‘Easy Fundraising’. Amazon also offer us a contribution from sales if you go via the FoNS website. All the links and info are on the FoNS website. It only takes a few minutes and helps FoNS continue to support nurses to do great work.


New project evaluation on FoNS website

Developing the Integrated Delivery of Family Intervention within Community Mental Health Teams for People with Psychosis: A Pilot Project

Recovery from schizophrenia and psychosis is achieved through a range of social, psychological and medical interventions. Best practice strongly indicates the use of family intervention but this may, for complex reasons, be under-utilised. A pilot in one community mental health team developed feasible, acceptable and sustainable working practices associated with increased delivery of family intervention for psychosis. Key outcomes include enhanced team performance, a reduction in service user unmet need, the development of local resources including user-friendly workbooks and an increased awareness of the intervention by service users, families and carers, GPs and the wider service group.


You might be interested in other FoNS supported mental health projects. While the projects are specialised, the broad aims, the methods used and the strong focus on collaboration are of value to professionals working in other areas of mental health and beyond and are a reminder for many of why they chose to become mental health nurses.

This was a specialist project, however, it’s a worthy read for the non-specialist, as it highlights the need to engage with patients/service users and for them to be equal partners, with a focus on wellness and a return to health.

Offering really interesting insights, this report describes the development of a ‘quality of life’ group for patients with severe and enduring eating disorders. The team from Aneurin Bevan Health Board wanted to cater for the specific needs of this particular client group, moving away from a focus on the condition to a focus on the person and their quality of life. This highlights the potential effectiveness of service-user led projects.

This project aimed to gather the experiences of patients and staff involved in supportive observations, in order to use this information to develop practice to achieve a more therapeutically orientated intervention. This fascinating and innovative project demonstrates meaningful collaboration between healthcare professionals and service users.

The team consisted of a mental health nurse manager working alongside six people whose identity moved beyond ‘service user’ to that of co-researcher over the period of the project. The co-researchers’ interviews with current service users were used to identify significant themes and how these can inform practice within statutory service.

Evidence suggests that nurses often struggle to help young people who self harm. This project therefore aimed to engage with staff and young people in a young people’s centre to enable participation of young people in planning and delivering the self harm service. The themes from discussions were used to inform developments in practice including the introduction of self harm feedback forms and a patient passport. 



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