The Royal College of Nursing has launched a revised competence framework designed to help improve nursing care for people with liver disease.
The college said the framework was designed to support those caring for people with liver disease and promote education and training.
“This framework will support nursing staff in building their skills and delivering effective care to people with liver disease”
The RCN said nursing staff were “uniquely placed” to identify those at risk from liver disease and give appropriate guidance, if provided they were with the right training and support.
The framework aims to support nursing staff to gain the skills and the confidence to deliver high standards of care to people suffering from liver disease as well as those at risk, said the college.
It highlighted that it was applicable to nursing staff in both primary and secondary care settings and could also be used by other healthcare professionals, such as GPs and liver dieticians.
The framework was written by Lynda Greenslade, clinical nurse specialist in hepatology at the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust, and Michelle Clayton, lecturer in liver care at Leeds University.
Ms Greenslade said: “Liver disease is a huge burden on the NHS and a major cause of premature death in the UK.
“Nursing staff have the potential to ease this problem, but they need the skills and competence to tackle liver disease head-on,” she said.
“This framework will support nursing staff in building their skills and delivering effective care to people with liver disease,” she said, adding that she hoped it would have a “significant impact on liver care in the UK”.
The revised framework, which is sponsored by Norgine Pharmaceuticals, was launched today at the British Liver Nurses’ Forum’s annual conference.