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Letter: Northampton nurses prove their worth

Jan Anfield

I am pleased to report that funds have been secured to maintain the diabetes specialist nurse posts in Northampton on a permanent basis. The Health Authority found, on examination of the facts (including activity levels and potential costings) that their proposal for all diabetes nursing to be devolved to practice nurses was neither practical nor cost effective. As a result of their enquiries the posts have been transferred to another trust which will facilitate the team unity and provide more sensible management arrangements.

Since these proposals were first suggested we have received overwhelming encouragement from our medical colleagues, the local BDA and patients past and present. We had a fight on our hands and the battle was won, in my view, because we were able to show what very good value for money we represent.

Part of our battle plan involved using the media to sell ourselves and our role. Whilst very threatening, entering the public arena has raised our profile. The sales campaign was a success – our purchasers have decided, after careful scrutiny, to continue to buy the service.

As a group, we need to organise a sales campaign – we need to identify and advertise the value of our product, to put a fair price on it, to know when to use the soft sell and the hard-nosed approach, and to know who to target within the organisation to ensure they keep buying the goods. In short we need to become more strategic and political. That may cost time spent on patient care, but what will be the price if we do not?

I am pleased to report that funds have been secured to maintain the diabetes specialist nurse posts in Northampton on a permanent basis. The Health Authority found, on examination of the facts (including activity levels and potential costings) that their proposal for all diabetes nursing to be devolved to practice nurses was neither practical nor cost effective. As a result of their enquiries the posts have been transferred to another trust which will facilitate the team unity and provide more sensible management arrangements.

Since these proposals were first suggested we have received overwhelming encouragement from our medical colleagues, the local BDA and patients past and present. We had a fight on our hands and the battle was won, in my view, because we were able to show what very good value for money we represent.

Part of our battle plan involved using the media to sell ourselves and our role. Whilst very threatening, entering the public arena has raised our profile. The sales campaign was a success – our purchasers have decided, after careful scrutiny, to continue to buy the service.

As a group, we need to organise a sales campaign – we need to identify and advertise the value of our product, to put a fair price on it, to know when to use the soft sell and the hard-nosed approach, and to know who to target within the organisation to ensure they keep buying the goods. In short we need to become more strategic and political. That may cost time spent on patient care, but what will be the price if we do not?

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