Nurses from care homes across the South focused on clinical leadership and best practice at a conference in Bournemouth.
More than 70 registered general and mental health nurses, plus senior operations managers, attended the Colten Care event.
The aim was to celebrate and consolidate skills and learning through an interactive, hands-on day of presentations and workshops.
The agenda was designed around both acute and chronic conditions. Topics under discussion included sepsis, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, frailty, professional leadership and the administration of medicine.
As well as Colten Care experts, there were external speakers in the arena of older people’s nursing care from Bournemouth University, the West Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group and the Community Diabetes Service.
The conference, at AFC Bournemouth’s Vitality Stadium, was led by Colten Care Clinical Managers Lindsay Rees and Lisa Barnes-Metcalf.
Lindsay said: “Days like this are a really valuable way to promote ongoing learning. They further demonstrate that care home nursing requires continual investment in skills to underpin sound clinical judgements. Care home nurses have to manage the challenges presented by frailty in older age and a wide range of age-related conditions usually when there is no doctor immediately available. It’s a high-pressure, responsible job requiring top-notch professional skills.”
Dr Michele Board, Principal Academic in Nursing and Older People at Bournemouth University, presented on the topic of care of the older person living with frailty.
She said: “The fact is we have an ageing population which can lead to an increasing demand for care home beds. Care homes have a real opportunity to develop and promote excellent care of the older adult living with frailty. By working collaboratively across the health and social care sector and with the support of higher education institutions, they can help identify and meet the needs of one of the most vulnerable groups of the population. It was good to see a care home group keen to develop their staff and engage with external organisations. There was a real buzz at the conference and people were clearly engaged with the subject.”
Colten Care owns and runs 20 nursing homes in Hampshire, Dorset, Wiltshire and Sussex, including five dedicated dementia care homes. The provider has a three-strong Admiral Nurse team in partnership with Dementia UK.
Elaine Farrer, Colten Care’s Operations Director, said: “We value each one of our nurses and the clinical excellence they deliver day in day out. This high degree of professionalism ensures our residents, often with complex nursing needs, live well in our care homes.”
Alongside the conference, delegates had the chance to view trade stands from local and national care home suppliers.
In a post-event questionnaire, 98% of respondents said the event exceeded their expectations and the time spent was worthwhile.