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

Helen Donovan Professional lead for public health nursing, Royal College of Nursing, London, England
Jason Warriner Director of clinical services, The Sussex Beacon, Brighton, England

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

Primary Health Care. 27, 8,20-24. doi: 10.7748/phc.2017.e1294

Correspondence

helen.donovan@rcn.org.uk

Conflict of interest

None declared

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software

Received: 27 March 2017

Accepted: 24 May 2017