FoNS Blog

The International Practice Development Journal

23 May 2017

Kate Sanders, FoNS Practice Development Facilitator and IPDJ Managing Editor


As many of you will know, the International Practice Development Journal (IPDJ) is published by FoNS in association with the International Practice Development Collaborative (IPDC). It is hard to believe that the journal is now in its seventh year of publication, our latest issue being published last week. In the world of journals, I recognise that we are very small, but as independent publisher, we are proud of what we have achieved from essentially a standing start, back in the autumn of 2010. Thanks must go to the FoNS trustees, our editorial board members, reviewers, authors and wider supporters because without all of these, the shoots of an idea could not have thrived in the way they have. 


The ultimate purpose of practice development is the development of person-centred cultures, facilitating positive experiences and outcomes for both patients and staff. Learning, both in and from practice, is key to enabling the transformation of individuals and team practices towards person-centredness. The journal, with its eclectic mix of papers, offers many opportunities for learning, whether as a reader or a potential author.

The opening of the Sonder Dementia Café, Stepping Hill Hospital, Stockport, Manchester

16 May 2017

Jo Odell, FoNS Practice Development Facilitator


As the lead for the Patients First Programme, I have been providing support for Florence Bawak, Matron for Dementia, and her team on thier project 'Making Additional Observations Meaningful for Patients with Dementia'. They wanted to improve care for people living with a dementia who were also being cared for at the Stepping Hill Hospital, Stockport, Manchester.


The project work was initially focused on one ward and looking at how the staff could work in more meaningful ways when undertaking one-to-one observations. As the project has progressed and more people have heard about this, the project has developed and new initiatives have come to fruition. These have included engaging the local community in knitting or crocheting “twiddle muffs”, a new trust wide policy for therapeutic observations, launch of a carer passport in support of John’s Campaign and lots of learning and development opportunities for staff.


In addition, Florence led on the development of a business case for an enhanced care team. The trust board has agreed to the development of a specialist team of healthcare support workers to provide one-to-one support for people living with a dementia, on top of the normal ward nursing staff. These posts are currently being recruited to.


Rewarding excellence

09 May 2017

Theresa Shaw, FoNS CEO


FoNS’ birthday year seems to be flying by and as you might have seen, each month I am trying to look back on some of the activities FoNS has supported over the 30 years to advance nursing practice and improve the experience of nursing practice for people who use health and social care services. A big part of achieving this in the early years was activity to promote the spread and use of research, evidence and innovation. Alongside this, in the mid to late 90s, FoNS established a a programme of awards to acknowledge and raise the profile of nurses, midwives and health visitors in practice who were championing the implementation of research in practice. The first of the awards, ‘The Mallabar Awards’ were established to celebrate good practice initiatives that were research based and improved patient care; FoNS felt it was important to reward developments in everyday practice and the innovative ways nurses achieve high quality care.


The Mallabar Awards were an instant success; we were inundated with applications, a significant number of which were high quality. I remember the first year I was involved in the judging feeling both enthused and humbled by the passion of the applicants and their strong commitment to using and implementing research into practice.

Facilitating the Transition of Student Nurse to Registered Practitioner through the Development of Self-Care and Compassion

02 May 2017

Gemma Stacey and Aimee Aubeeluck

l-r Gemma Stacey and Aimee Aubeeluck

Supporting student nurses to reflect on clinical placements through a variety of educational forums is accepted as good practice amongst most institutions providing pre-registration nursing programs. At the University of Nottingham regular, facilitated group clinical supervision was the established model. Students valued the peer support, the opportunity to understand the perspectives of others and consider alternative interpretations. This was achieved via a facilitation approach which gently challenged the accepted view and encouraged critical dialogue.


In many circumstances however, the opportunity to gain support and promote self-reflection of this nature was not provided to our graduates as newly qualified nurses. We heard numerous accounts of them feeling overwhelmed by the transition to registered practitioner, doubting their ability to realise their personal standards of nursing care and frequently placed in moral conflict as a result of poor resources and a lack of senior support. It was evident that the educational environment we had developed was not facilitating the transition process and may in fact be creating a dependency on a support structure which would not be available to them at the most crucial time.  

A Teaching Care Home Pilot: The Launch

25 April 2017


In 2016- 2017 a small group of care home and nursing professionals came together to create and develop the Teaching Care Home pilot. This pilot, above all else, aimed to champion, empower and inspire the sector and create a legacy of learning for future care homes and nursing in the sector.


The pilot is a Department of Health funded programme of work, led by Care England (the leading representative body for independent care services in England). It was conceived after the Care Sector Nursing Taskforce called for a programme of work to respond to some of the most prescient challenges facing the sector: namely, to empower and embolden the workforce in care home nursing with a desire to harness and promote care, knowledge and skills development.


The pilot set out to change and challenge prevailing perceptions: recognising that the key to sustainability in the sector is through workforce training and development and through this delivering improved health and care outcomes for residents. It aimed to ensure that people who are training to be the next generation of health and social care professionals, could learn from the experience of the care home sector, and would be better equipped to manage the health complexities and social care needs of an ageing population.


Thanks to the commitment, professionalism, and passion of the people working in care homes that were part of this pilot, we have seen the benefits of the care home as a centre of training and practice development.