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Cygnet’s Annual Nursing Conference: Excellence in Clinical Leadership

On Tuesday 10th May we held our annual Nursing Conference. The event was held online and this year the theme was ‘Excellence in Clinical Leadership’.

The conference was chaired by Cygnet’s Director of Nursing, David Wilmott. David opened proceedings by reflecting on nursing during the pandemic and how it has given many teams a greater sense of community. He also thanked nursing teams for going above and beyond to deliver high quality care in such difficult times.

Guest speaker Joanna Bosanquet, Chief Executive, Foundation of Nursing Studies, then gave a talk on the importance of nursing being person centred and what this means in practice. She encouraged viewers to think about their personal identity as a nurse, and how this aligns with company values and delivering person centred care.

Next up Cygnet’s Quality Improvement (QI) team provided an update on QI within Cygnet and how teams can be successful in achieving QI goals. Caroline Harris-Birtles, Cygnet’s Head of Nurse Education, then gave a presentation on learning styles and how each of us learn and retain information. One particular focus was on how we can bridge the gap for nurses between theory and practise by using scenario based learning.

The morning session concluded with a joint presentation between David and Sylvia Dubarry, Regional Occupational Therapy Director. They talked about how our services have been working closely with commissioners to determine the future of Learning Disability services and what provision they would like to see. They also talked about the development of the Learning Disabilities model of care and how the core is “My voice, my choice, my life.”

After a break for lunch Phillip Winterbottom, Cygnet’s Head of Safeguarding, looked at how safeguarding links with nursing and the importance of being accountable. Caroline then gave a second presentation, this time on her own experience of nursing, how nursing has developed over the years and looked at what the future may hold for nursing.

The penultimate presentation of the day was on co-production and the role of experts by experience. The presentation featured contributions from Raf Hamaizia, Cygnet’s Expert by Experience Lead, Lois, an expert by experience, and also David, a service user at Cygnet Lodge Woking. They looked at how different departments can embrace co-production and how service users can get more involved in their care.

Next up was keynote speaker Karen Johnson, Chief Clinical Officer, Universal Health Services (UHS). Karen talked about the alignment of UHS’s mission statement with Cygnet’s and looked at differences between US and UK services. Karen also emphasised that we have to be on a continuous journey of improvement, backed by data, to deliver what is important to our service users, residents, staff and communities. Karen also stated that compassion should underpin all of the work that we do.

The conference was a great success with positive feedback from those attending. After the conference David Wilmott said, “This is such an important week for nursing as we reflect on the achievements of nurses and the huge contribution they make to delivering high quality care, I am very proud of the amazing work that our nursing teams do across the organisation in ensuring our service users and residents have the very best care that we can offer.”

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