An introductory blog from our National Workforce Lead for Nursing – Jacqui Neil

It’s now 3 months since I took up my new post with Scottish Care as National Workforce Lead for Nursing , I feel revitalised and reconnected to Nursing,  and so proud to be a nurse in the ‘International Year of the Nurse’. As you will be aware 2020 marks 100 years of nurse registration, and 200 years since Florence Nightingale and a team of nurses improved the unsanitary conditions at a British base hospital, reducing the death count by two-thirds, which led to worldwide health care reform.

Subsequently Care Home nursing has evolved to meet the increasing demands and changing demographics of older people and will require to continue to evolve in light of the numbers of older people predicted to continue to rise up until 2035. Demographic change is complex, with links between the different drivers of demographic change, and a range of social and economic factors which can impact on trends, leaving projections open to uncertainty . Transformational change and leadership is therefore paramount for sustainability of the workforce.

Networking with front line staff who are delivering first class care and compassion within extremely challenging times, alongside working with strategic stakeholders has confirmed the importance of having a shared goal of improving the profile of care home nursing.

Prior to taking up this post I had a 32 year NHS career managing staff groups across acute and predominately community nursing, taking up my first staff nurse post in 1990 , then working as District Sister, Clinical Team Leader and finally as Service (Locality) Manager within  a HSPC.

Despite not having worked within the independent sector I have had strong partnership alliance with the third and independent sector throughout my career.

Working on improving the recruitment and retention of staff within the care sector at a strategic level allows the opportunity to make a difference at service level. Be reassured that I am fully committed to raising and transforming the profile of nursing, and the quality of care provided within the sector through strong leadership.

In September the pre reg nurse training will ensure all students will have a placement within a care home and it’s up to the staff to make it a memorable rewarding experience, that hopefully will see a trend in more newly qualified nurses seeking to work in care home nursing, and see it a positive long-term career opportunity.

Do not hesitate to contact me if there are any workforce or nursing issues concerning you. It’s important that I am focused on areas of concern that are an issue to service delivery, quality and client safety.

My nursing blogs will start this month starting with Workforce Wellbeing and will continue throughout the ‘Year of the Nurse’  to encourage staff to get involved and undertake the Nightingale Challenge. If you have any topics that you would like highlighted please get in touch by email [email protected] or Twitter @TransformNurse.


Jacqui Neil

National Workforce Lead for Nursing, Scottish Care

On a separate but related note, Tom McEwan from UWS will be hosting a webinar on Friday 17 January at 11:30 am to discuss the new pre reg nursing programme, as well as their proposed pilot of care home placements around their 4 campus areas – Ayr, Lanarkshire, Paisley and Dumfries. They are currently looking for care home providers to nominate themselves to take part in this pilot. Please click here to find out more.

Last Updated on 23rd January 2020 by Shanice