The vital importance of family nursing and midwifery in the UK and Ireland

Professor Veronica Swallow, Professor Alison Metcalfe and Professor Veronica Lambert, Chapter Co-leads, reposted from the Evidence-Based Nursing blog, published in March 2020

Nurses and midwives (nurses) play a major role in supporting people across the life-course. Within multi-disciplinary teams nurses support many patients/clients remotely, but patients/clients rely predominantly on family members for home-based support with self-management. Family nursing provides nursing care to the whole family and to individual family members with attention to relationships among members. When one person in a family has health support needs this can bring family role-changes that cause stress to the family unit, while individual family members may struggle to adapt to the altered circumstances.

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A COVID-19 message from the IFNA President and President-elect

IFNA President, Professor Sonja J. Meiers PhD RN PHN and IFNA President-elect, Professor Veronica Swallow PhD MMedSci BSc (Hons) RGN RSCN

Dear IFNA colleagues around the world, these COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) times are unprecedented and uncertain for nurses and midwives (hereafter referred to as nurses) caring for families in uncharted territory. The 2020 Year of the Nurse and Midwife initiative has taken on new meaning as nurses are on the frontlines ensuring access to safe and quality care. We receive messages each day from IFNA members telling stories of unfailing compassion with patients suffering from COVID-19 and its complications. In the context of COVID-19, nurses in hospitals are seeing the suffering that patients and clients (hereafter referred to as patients) experience without their families present due to restricted visiting. In addition, nurses in the community and other care facilities are seeing family members being separated because of local Quarantine and Self-isolation regulations that are designed to reduce the risk of cross-infection.

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National Roundtable Debate

Professor Veronica Swallow PhD MMedSci BSc (Hons) RGN RSCN

In January 2020, the UK and Ireland IFNA Chapter hosted a National Roundtable Debate at Sheffield Hallam University, UK, to discuss the question: Should nurses, midwives and health visitors use more family focused interventions to actively promote care of patients’ and clients’ families? Before the event, Professor Alison Metcalfe shared a blog to pave the way for the debate. The agenda for the event can be viewed here.

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