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#NurChat - Keep talking to improve MH and LD care in general settings

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Did you miss the latest #NurChat twitter debate about MH and LD care? Let us sum it up for you?

In our busy day-to-day working lives we often get caught up in our own speciality and when we encounter a patient who does not quite fall into that speciality it can leave us struggling to identify with that patient and ultimately, provide good nursing care for them.

So what can we do to improve care for our patients with learning difficulties and mental health problems when they are nursed in a general setting? NurChat brought together nurse from three specialities - Mental Health, Learning Difficulties and General Nurses to discuss these issues and to brainstorm on how we can all work together to give the best quality care for all of our patients. The full chat can be found on the NurChat blog but here are a few of the ideas that were shared:

The chat started by asking if participants felt that the current standard of care could be improved ?

@Ramck001 stated “Sometimes I feel that I don’t necessarily have all the knowledge that I should when looking after LD and MH patients”

@GGByrne tweeted “I think that care could certainly be improved, though like all things nursing it varies from ward to ward”

@MelissaWilton said “The standard of care could definitely be improved but that’s for all professionals who work with these patients”

@HazelPowell11 then asked “is there enough education in undergraduate programmes across fields re needs of people with LD or MH?”

@dmarsden49 responded by stating “Education is vital, all mainstream health professionals should have access to training, through the regulator and their employers”

@agencynurse stated “I trained a little while ago (1990s) and we only spent a week in each speciality”

@Ramck001 tweeted “I only registered with the NMC Last week so I can safely say I didn’t get enough info as a student in recent times”

@MelissaWilton added “I’m not sure about other disciplines for the undergraduate programmes. RNLD’s spent a fair amount in adult but not vice versa”

NurChat asked what can we do to increase understanding ? @anniecoops tweeted “we need to learn to share more. I’m a RGN but I am impressed by how much I can learn from MH and LD colleagues”

@PhilipRABall stated “Broad foundations in or at least exposure to all areas in training would benefit all healthcare professionals”

@HazelPowell11 said “Liaison nurses in LD very well appreciated by carers - but not all hospitals have them”

@ridz761 tweeted “Many people who are in supported living environments have a hospital passport, this is a document on how best to support a person”

The Ward Champions role was discussed @HazelPowell11 said “As well as liaison nurses and passports champions on each ward/ are is and excellant idea”

However, concerns were raised that this shouldn’t be a substitute for the Liaison Nurses.

@LDNurse1 tweeted “Sometimes ward champions are just a cheap alternative to liaison nurses, they should be additional to really”

@anniecoops answered “Champions help because we cant know everything and weneedsomewhere to go for advice”

@janeyskev added “In Kirklees people with learning disabilities are providing training for health staff -very powerful”

@HazelPowell11 responded “Excellent stuff - people with LD and family carers feel they are under used in training all professionals”

It is impossible for every nurse to know absolutely everything about every single aspect of nursing, so caring for people outside of the remit of our own speciality will always be challenging. It is important that we liaise not only with those who are specialists in their field but also with the people we are caring for and their families. I am, as ever, impressed with #NurChat - it is an incredibly powerful forum that allows nurses from all walks of life to gain greater understanding of their peers - but bringing nurses together to discuss these issues is only part of the story; now that we have a greater understanding of the resources, facilities and support that is out there and we need to make use of it and disseminate what we have learnt to others.

@janeyskev tweeted some wise words which I wholeheartedly agree with: “By talking to each other and working across disciplines we are able to deliver the best care plans and improve patient experiences”.

Teresa Chinn heads up NurChat for Newcross Healthcare Solutions - Nurchat is a fortnightly twitter chat for nurses exploring different topicsthat vary enormously.Anyone can suggest a NurChat discussion subject simply by tweeting @NurChat or by visiting the NurChat blog.

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