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Nurse - Nurse

The Queen's Nursing Institute holds first virtual Annual Conference

QNI’s Annual Conference drew a global audience of 1500 nurses when it ran over five days from 19 to 23 October.

The event was attended by over 1500 community nurses and other health professionals from countries including Nigeria, Switzerland, The United States, Liberia, Poland, Norway, Ireland, Japan, Singapore and other nations as well as those of the United Kingdom.

Over fifty speakers presented at the event, including the Chief Nursing Officers of England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and of Public Health England. International perspectives were provided by Howard Catton of the International Council of Nurses and by Lord Nigel Crisp (pictured), speaking about the legacy of the Nursing Now campaign.

Jo Churchill MP, Parliamentary-under-Secretary of State for Prevention, Public Health and Primary Care, Department of Health and Social Care, gave a recorded address to the delegates in which she thanked them for their dedication and achievements in the first wave of the pandemic and exhorted nurses to ‘take care of themselves’ as they continue to serve the NHS and protect the health of the population and their local communities.

George Plumptre, Chief Executive of the National Garden Scheme, the largest single funder of the QNI and other nursing charities, spoke about the recent and continuing challenges of the pandemic. He spoke about the unique contribution of the voluntary sector in providing effective, dynamic and innovative healthcare in the UK, and the forthcoming research to be published by the charity later this year.

Dame Clare Moriarty, Chair of the Health Foundation’s Covid-19 Impact Inquiry and Dr Mehrunisha Suleman spoke about the inquiry, which is now gathering evidence. They outlined the significant and deep rooted health inequalities that have been brought into sharper focus by the impact of the pandemic, and the plans to influence policy and practice in addressing these by publishing the evidence within the report. Community nurses were warmly encouraged to submit their evidence to the inquiry, which will be a significant part of the overall findings.

The Conference also saw the launch of the QNI’s latest District Nurse Education Report, covering the academic year 2018-19. The report showed a substantial rise in the number of nurses undertaking the District Nurse Specialist Practitioner Qualification in all countries of the United Kingdom. The rise was warmly welcomed by speakers and delegates.

The conference sessions were widely covered in the nursing and healthcare press, including the announcement of additional funding to support the mental health of nurses as the Covid-19 pandemic enters the second wave. Nurses were warned to prepare for a third and a fourth wave, with the undertaking that this will only be possible if staff resilience is supported effectively.

Source: The Queen’s Nursing Institute