A new framework to support the nursing care of patients with liver disease has been launched.
The framework, a product of a partnership between the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) and NHS Liver Care, will also look at addressing how nurses can assist in better identifying the symptoms of liver disease.
It is part of a national agenda to address liver disease, recognising the crucial part nurses play in identifying, supporting and treating those at risk or diagnosed with a serious liver complaint.
The framework has been authored by Dr Kim Manley as well as a group of specialist liver nurses including Michelle Clayton, chair of the Specialist Nurses External Reference Group for the National Liver Disease Strategy.
Chief executive of the British Liver Trust Andrew Langford applauded those behind the project, saying: “By empowering nurses with this well thought out framework, patients will inevitably benefit from better care, treatment and support.”
Director of nursing and service delivery at the RCN, Janet Davies, said the document demonstrates the wide-ranging influence that nurses have on patients health and would prove useful for staff in their battle against something which was “an increasingly serious public health issue”.
She added: “This framework sets out the professional standards for nurses who care for patients with liver disease, which is becoming so widespread it will be relevant to all nurses.
“Liver disease has three main causes: alcohol, viral hepatitis and Non Fatty Liver Disease due to obesity. Nurses can play a big role in prevention as they can work with patients and in communities to encourage healthier lifestyles.”
Director of NHS Liver Care, Beverly Matthews, said: “Everyone in the NHS can help to prevent people dying prematurely from liver disease, a key national priority in the NHS Outcomes Framework. The liver care competence framework is suitable for all healthcare professionals who care for liver patients, to support them in identifying those most at risk and in providing high quality, effective care.”