Helen Donovan

Engaging nurses to achieve a culture of excellence: a children’s hospital journey towards Pathway to Excellence accreditation

Engaging nurses in achieving a culture of excellence

A description of a children’s hospital journey towards Pathway to Excellence accreditation

Developing and evaluating a new nursing student placement in public health teams

Developing and evaluating a new nursing student placement in public health teams

Placements of this type can help students appreciate the role of public health in nursing

We’ve given our all in the COVID-19 response – but it’s not over yet

As the vaccination programme gets underway, nurses step up again

Managing childhood vaccination clinics during COVID-19: risks and solutions

Managing childhood vaccination clinics during COVID-19: risks and solutions

What to consider so childhood vaccination clinics continue and parents are supported

Measles is a potentially life-threatening condition Picture: Science Photo Library

Stop blaming the anti-vax bogeyman and focus on immunisation services

Investing in nurses and resources to educate parents is more pressing than battling fake news

Public health nurses face being denied NHS pay rises

A funding complication could result in some public health nurses leaving

Calorie labelling is welcome, but it won’t solve the obesity crisis

Compulsory labels can’t alone turn the tide, says RCN’s Helen Donovan


Why immunisation training matters

Vaccines are highly effective at reducing infectious disease and are recognised by the World Health Organization as second only to clean water at effectively controlling disease ( Andre et al 2008 ). The success of any vaccine programme relies on enough people being vaccinated to control or stop the spread of infections. In the UK, numerous different vaccines have been successfully introduced over the past 50 years and many once common infections are now rarely seen. To ensure continued disease control, it is essential to maintain a high vaccine uptake and to make sure that vaccines are given safely and effectively. To achieve this, those who advise on and/or administer vaccines need to be knowledgeable and skilled. They also need to be able to answer patients’ and parents’ questions confidently and accurately, and be able to explain why vaccines are needed, while dispelling any myths or concerns that may arise. This article discusses the revised national immunisation training standards and core curriculum ( Public Health England 2018 ) and highlights the supporting resources which are available for all healthcare professionals with a role in immunisation to help them to be confident, competent, well-informed and up to date.

Are you prepared for travel this summer?

Make measles top of the vaccination check list, RCN specialists advise nurses

Public health

Nurses’ role in public health and integration of health and social care

This article examines the findings of a Royal College of Nursing (RCN) survey, The Value and Contribution of Nursing to Public Health in the UK: Final report ( Donovan and Davies 2016 ), on the value of public health nursing and nurses’ role in shaping the integration of health and social care. The prevention of ill health is important across all the UK’s government health policies as they place an emphasis on improving health and supporting people not just to live longer, but to stay healthy. Integration of care means aligning health and social services and making sure that they are ‘person-centred’, designed to meet the needs of individuals across care pathways which are ‘place-based’ where people are living and working. To meet the unprecedented challenges of increasing population demands and financial pressures in health and care services, improving the public’s health and better integration of services are fundamental. Nurses and midwives are in a unique position to support and drive this improvement because of the regular and frequent contact they have with people. The survey highlights the value of the contribution they can make to public health and the associated knowledge and skills required to undertake such work


Domestic abuse: what healthcare professionals need to know

Carmel Bagness and Helen Donovan, who are leading the RCN’s online resources on domestic abuse, explain what you need to know to identify and support victims

Immunisation: Changes in the UK for Children and Young People

Vaccination programmes are implemented either in response to a specific situation, or as new vaccines become available or evidence about them accumulates. Significant changes to the UK child and adolescent immunisation schedule have been implemented from 2013. Rotavirus vaccine was introduced for infants in July 2013. The influenza vaccination programme is being extended to include all two to 16 year olds eventually and, since September 2013, is being offered to all two and three year olds. To ensure protection against meningococcal C infection into adulthood, the immunisation schedule has been further modified. Since October 2012, in response to an increase in the number of cases of pertussis, particularly among young babies, all pregnant women have been offered a pertussis-containing vaccine during the last trimester of pregnancy. Large outbreaks of measles, particularly in Swansea and the north east of England, prompted a national campaign that was launched in April 2013 to ensure that all children and young people have received two doses of measles, mumps and rubella vaccine.

Changes to this year’s immunisation schedule

The Department of Health has made significant changes to the universal immunisation schedule...

Talking with parents about immunisation

This article is aimed at all those involved with immunisation. It is important that everyone...