Published on: 12 July 2019

The importance of providing care which meets the needs of the individual patient was the main focus of South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust’s annual Nursing and Midwifery Conference.

The theme for this year’s conference, organised in partnership with the University of Sunderland and held at its St Peter’s Campus yesterday (11 July), was ‘The Path to Person-Centred Care’. Almost 400 nurses and midwives met to discuss this important issue and to celebrate and share good practice and excellence in patient care.

Melanie Johnson, South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust’s Executive Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professionals, said: “Person-centred care is about taking people's preferences, needs and values into account to guide our clinical decisions and ensuring that the care we provide is respectful and responsive.

“It is also about supporting people to develop the knowledge, skills and confidence they need to more effectively manage and make informed decisions about their own health and care. By supporting patients to be actively involved in their own care, treatment and support, we can help them to stay well and manage their own conditions better, which can improve outcomes and experience for them.”

Frontline nursing staff in a wide range of fields, including maternity, bladder & bowel, palliative and end of life care and research, gave presentations at the conference.

The Trust’s Chief Executive Ken Bremner said: “This annual event is an opportunity to celebrate the work of our nursing and midwifery staff whose determination each and every day to improve their patients’ lives makes me very proud. The demands of their role are constantly evolving but they always rise to the challenge of change and innovation and their skills and knowledge play a huge part in enabling our Trust to deliver world class care.”

Speakers on the day included Professor Brendan McCormack, Head of the Divisions of Nursing, Occupational Therapy and Art Therapies, and Associate Director, Centre for Person-centred Practice Research, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, who is internationally recognised for his work in person-centred practice development and research. Motivational speaker Nigel Risner shared techniques and tools to become the best. Professor Tony Alabaster, Academic Dean in the Faculty of Health Sciences and Wellbeing at the University of Sunderland, closed the conference.