Technological and information sharing allow nurses' to take the lead

NHS Digital’s acting chief nurse has said even small technological and information sharing advances can make a real difference to nurses and midwives on the frontline.

To mark International Nurses’ Day on Sunday, Caron Swinscoe, said she believes “the road to better care and experience is paved with technology”.

She added: “As I take up the role of interim chief nurse for NHS Digital, I am proud to be part of an organisation that is helping to provide technology that is useful and usable, that provides the means to allow nurses and midwives to have the information they need, where they need it, to be able to support our patients and citizens.”

“Having access to patient information and being able to share that information easily and effectively between practitioners offers huge benefits for patients and staff.”

Swinscoe, who 37 years working in the NHS, makes reference to the Child Protection Information Sharing system (CP-IS), calling it a “great example of how information sharing across the NHS and social care can have a profound impact on young people’s lives”.

She also makes reference to how Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust has used E-Sepsis, a clinical decision support tool, to screen patients for the blood-infection in A&E and on its wards.

Swinsoe said: “Through the Global Digital Exemplar programme trusts around the country can follow in Liverpool’s footsteps and implement sepsis screening practices that could transform the care of patients from Penrith to Penzance.

“These changes and many others like them, have the potential to make a really positive impact on people’s lives. Nurses and midwives are in a great position to be able to help.”

In conclusion, Swinscoe said developers and IT teams “need nurses” to help create usable systems which have been “designed with the professional and the patients in mind”

She adds: “Without the nurse and midwife voice we risk implementing systems that are difficult to use in practice and detract nurses and midwives from the jobs they do.”