Jun 062017

Kathryn Topple is a second year adult nursing student and Chapter member at Bangor University.

I wanted to attend the 1000 Lives National Conference as I felt this would further my knowledge and experience of integrated care within the health service.

I felt extremely privileged to have the opportunity to attend as this also developed of my understanding of how multidisciplinary team working within NHS Wales is improving the quality of care that patients receive.

The highlight of my day was having the opportunity to meet Professor Sir Mansel Aylward, Chair of Public Health Wales who also supported the development of 1000 Lives Improvement. This was extremely interesting as we were able to discuss how the improvement service became an established its drive to improve patient care, ultimately leading to the saving of lives.

This experience was thoroughly enjoyable and worthwhile experience and I would whole-heartedly encourage future student nurses to apply to attend subsequent conferences if the opportunity arises.

Fern Williams is a second year adult field student nurse studying in Bangor University.

I was very fortunate to attend the 1000 Lives National Conference at the Celtic Manor in Newport on Wednesday 29 March. The conference involved a number of guest speakers all presenting around the theme of integrating care and the connections to make it happen. Evidence suggests that integrated care can assist in improving fragmentation in health care, but also assist in improving patients quality of life (Sun, Tang, Ye, Zhang, Bo and Zhang, 2014).

The day was very interesting, but two plenaries in particular stood out for me.

The first was by Anna Sussex who is a Frequent Attenders Case Load Manager at Cardiff and Vale UHB, who developed a Frequent Attenders’ Project. Anna stated in her presentation that the Emergency Department where she is situated has 8,000 patients who are classed as frequent attenders, and who have generated nearly 32,000 visits in the last 12 months, at a basic cost of £3.2million to the Health Board. In terms of the project, Anna set up a Multi-disciplinary team, including staff members of the emergency department, Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust and out of hours and also included other services such as third party and volunteers, working collaboratively together.

The project helped to identify patients who are inappropriately accessing the services due to a number of reasons. Due to this, a key worker is assigned to a frequent attender dependent in their need such as social isolation.

Anna herself stated on the day that the project has helped to promote independence and re-integrate the individuals back into their community. Statistics on her slide showed that there was an 84% decrease in frequent attenders attending the emergency services and a 95% decrease in costs.

I was also interested in the talk led by Brendan Martin on behalf of Jos De Blok, the founder of the Buurtzorg Care Model, who was unfortunately unable to attend. The Buurtzorg Care Model was founded in 2006/2007 by Jos De Blok himself. The Buurtzorg care model involves nursing teams, with 12 in each and with between 40-60 patients in each team. It was understood that the teams mean professionals are working more efficiently and effectively, helping to improve person centred care. I like the idea of around 60 patients between 12 nurses as it means each nurse has 5 patients. Jos De Blok himself has said it allows the staff to have more time with their patients, I feel that this will help to build a therapeutic relationship. As well as a therapeutic relationship, it will provide continuity of care. Barker (2017) expresses that continuity of care helps with patient satisfaction and actually improves quality of life for those patients with long term conditions.

I was also provided with the opportunity to speak with Chair of Public Health Wales, Professor Sir Mansel Aylward who was interested to know about ourselves as student nurses and what was important to us. I explained to Sir Mansel that I love working with the elderly and am extremely passionate delivering care and promoting independence in patients with dementia. I told him that as an ageing population, it is important that people should have an awareness and understanding of dementia and how it can not only affect the individual but also the individual’s family members. Palmer (2012) explains how relatives have often cared for their loved one for years and are experts but it can be psychologically and physically draining.

In the future I know I definitely would like to do something to help those individuals with dementia. For example, an idea already for my dissertation surrounds nutrition and dementia (which is what I chose for my PCAN assignment). I have actually read how patients who have dementia have a 25% increase in nutritional intake when their food is served on a red plate. As patients with dementia are often reluctant to eat for a number of reasons. I feel that with the appropriate research and time that this is something I could implement within my local health board.


Barker, I. (2017) Association between continuity of care in general practice and hospital admissions for ambulatory care sensitive conditions: cross sectional study of routinely collected, person level data. British Medical Journal. http://www.bmj.com/content/356/bmj.j84

Palmer, J. (2012) Caregivers’ Desired Patterns of Communication with Nursing Home Staff—Just TALKKK! Journal of Gerontological Nursing. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3670746/

Sun X., Tang, W., Ye, T., Zhang, Y., Bo, W., Zhang, L (2014). Integrated care: a comprehensive bibliometric analysis and literature review. International Journal of Integrated Care. http://www.ijic.org/articles/10.5334/ijic.1437/

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