Tavistock Neighbourhood Nursing Network: collaboration across settings
The modern matron role in Tavistock has been developed to extend beyond the community hospital to oversee the provision of high-quality care across community nursing services by promoting a collaborative approach to learning and development, via the establishment of a Neighbourhood Nursing Network (NNN). The Tavistock NNN helps nurses to support each other to improve practice and work collaboratively. The aim is to target health promotion and ill health prevention where it will be most effective in order to make services sustainable for the future, including engaging with young people for the purpose of preventing illness. By being part of the network, the nurses have greater power to identify patients or groups of patients at risk of health inequalities and develop innovative ways to promote good health and prevent ill health. The project aims to ensure that high-quality care is delivered throughout the neighbourhood, giving patients and residents the confidence that standards will be consistent in all settings. The network has removed barriers between nursing services and facilitated multidisciplinary working for the benefit of the community they serve.
The NHS Long Term Plan (NHS England, 2019) has necessitated changes in how different healthcare teams work together. It calls for collaboration between GPs and community teams in order to give people greater control over their health and care. Changes are underway across healthcare settings to realise the plan, with the development of primary care networks (PCNs) and the introduction of new roles and innovative practices. During the author's time as the District Nurse Team Manager, an opportunity arose to extend the scope of the role of the modern matron in the community hospital to a modern matron for the West Devon neighbourhood, that is, the entire geographical area covered by the author's PCN. This also presented the opportunity to build a Neighbourhood Nursing Network (NNN)—a consortium of nurses working in the PCN who have come together for the purpose of improved collaboration and to provide increased opportunities for learning and sharing practice.
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