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Last word with ... Dr Crystal Oldham: the QNI is campaigning so nursing can meet the changing needs of our communities.

The aim of the Queens Nursing Institute (QNI) is to support the delivery of high-quality nursing care for people at home, in the community and in primary care settings. We do this in a number of ways--including the direct support of innovative projects in practice, influencing policies which impact on the delivery of high-quality care and the development and support of a cadre of outstanding nurses who are awarded the title of 'Queen's Nurse'.

In the days before the National Health Service, the majority of the work of the Queen's Nurses was for the 'sick poor' or those who were unable to pay for their care at home. We have maintained a clear mission to help the most vulnerable in our society by providing homeless health practitioners with the learning resources they need to support the people they work with.

We have created a national professional network of homeless health practitioners and, in response to demand from this network, we have recently published a guide to oral care for people who are homeless.

Our heritage is steeped in professional practice; the QNI was originally created to set standards for the education and training of nurses working in the community and to deliver the highest quality preparation for this nursing work.


We have upheld a strong focus on supporting professional learning with the creation of a suite of practice based learning resources, available to download via our website.

Nursing in the community and primary care is often complex, requiring autonomous working, close collaboration with other services in the community and an innovative and creative approach to meeting the needs of individuals, families and carers. The model of care is socially focused, taking into account multiple factors regarding the individual and family circumstances and adapting the nursing care accordingly.

The new service models presented within The Five Year Forward View have highlighted the important role of community services in promoting health, preventing hospital admission and delivering care at or close to home. The community and primary care nursing workforce is critical to the delivery of this vision and the current challenge is in securing the right nurses with the right skills to deliver, manage and lead the services.

The QNI has for the past three years been campaigning for significant improvements in the workforce plan in order for nursing to meet the changing needs of our communities. Our activity is not limited to campaigning however--we also take practical action to make a difference.

For example, with QNI Scotland we recently published voluntary standards for district nurse education and practice, as well as a new resource to support nurses new to the school health service; another to support the transition of nurses to general practice is due for release this autumn.

Nurses make up the largest part of the workforce within community and primary care, supporting individuals, families and carers throughout the life course in a wide variety of specialist roles. The QNI will continue to take action to support all nurses working in these roles to deliver excellent care wherever and whenever it is needed.

Dr Crystal Oldman is chief executive of the QNI

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Title Annotation:THE LAST WORD; Queens Nursing Institute
Publication:Community Practitioner
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Oct 1, 2015
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