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Wellness should be a focus for nurses, congress told

The NHS focus on illness rather than wellness could be ‘disabling patients’, delegates tell RCN congress.
heather henry wellness

The NHS focus on illness rather than wellness could be disabling patients, delegates tell RCN congress

The NHS focus on illness rather than wellness could be disabling patients, delegates told the RCN congress.

Nurses said it was important to focus on illness when necessary, but sometimes this risked overshadowing wellness.

Congress heard of a number of community initiatives promoting wellness.

They include Salford Dadz, a project providing activities for fathers from disadvantaged backgrounds with the aim of improving their childrens lives. Events include a Saturday dads and kids club where fathers can talk to one another about their problems.

Heather Henry, a nurse and a project manager at Unlimited Potential, the social enterprise running Salford Dadz, told the meeting this was an example of wellness.

Salford

The NHS focus on illness rather than wellness could be ‘disabling patients’, delegates tell RCN congress

heather henry wellness
Nurse Heather Henry cited Salford Dadz as an example of wellness. Picture: John Houlihan

The NHS focus on illness rather than wellness could be ‘disabling patients’, delegates told the RCN congress.

Nurses said it was important to focus on illness when necessary, but sometimes this risked overshadowing wellness.

Congress heard of a number of community initiatives promoting wellness.

They include Salford Dadz, a project providing activities for fathers from disadvantaged backgrounds with the aim of improving their children’s lives. Events include a Saturday dads and kids club where fathers can talk to one another about their problems.

Heather Henry, a nurse and a project manager at Unlimited Potential, the social enterprise running Salford Dadz, told the meeting this was an example of wellness.

Salford Dadz 'have gone on to transform not only their own lives but those of their children,’ she said.

What matters most

Ms Henry added: ‘These fathers are stronger because they are connected and have become more resilient.’

She said there was a still a general tendency to focus on what is the matter with people rather than what matters to them.

Other delegates said nurses should use social media to ‘drive the wellness agenda’.

Edinburgh nurse Jeni Watts said cuts to health visitors – down almost 10% in a year – were not helping to push wellness.

She said this caused difficulties in children under the age of five getting their five key contacts with health visitors.

Ms Watts added that health visitors also helped mothers with issues such as post-natal depression.


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