It’s a fantastic time to be starting as editor of Nursing Times. That is what everyone has told me in the few weeks since I joined.
And, of course, I agree. With the white paper - and nurses’ roles in the new-look NHS being debated by the profession so heavily - it’s a great time to be writing for and championing our readers. I’m delighted to be involved, and hope very much that here at the magazine we can help support nurses carve out their important - and hopefully growing - roles.
My three weeks’ experience in nursing is significantly dwarfed by the long and illustrious pedigrees of many of the nurses whom I have met since I started. But even I recognise that this is the biggest revolution of the NHS since its inception, and will change the health landscape dramatically.
Our belief, in fact I’d go so far as to say our mission, is to ensure that nurses’ voices get heard. As the biggest slice of
the health service workforce, it’s essential that nurses are at the heart of the GP commissioning process - only they can provide the insight into holistic care provision to ensure it results in services that meet all patients’ needs. Nurses are frequently responsible for keeping patients out of hospital because of the care they can offer in surgeries or in patients’ homes.
So although all these changes are happening in a climate with the tightest possible financial constraints, nurses are definitely one group of people who can help stretch those NHS budgets further. So let’s make sure that you are not marginalised, ignored or forgotten about.
Over the next few weeks and months, we’ll be telling you how you can ensure the profession has a leading role in the new system to prevent us running the risk of returning to an NHS with a narrow medical focus, which treats patients as a set of symptoms and conditions rather than as individuals with their own unique set of circumstances. We want to arm you with the best tools and advice to help you get involved and raise your profile.
I am really keen to hear your views on that and what you love and loathe about the profession and this magazine, so do get in touch.
Jenni Middleton, editor