British Association of Critical Care Nurses (BACCN) Conference 2019

British Association of Critical Care Nurses (BACCN) Conference 2019

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Moral Courage: Meeting the Challenges of a Contemporary Healthcare System

Out of necessity, critical care nursing will need to evolve in much the same way as have other emergency services such as Critical Care Outreach, HEMS, Paediatric Retrieval and, more globally MSF and other teams of medical professionals who travel to areas of disaster or disease outbreaks to provide crucial skilled care to critically ill patients where they are located, in support of local medically professionals.

The number of patients requiring critical care at some point in their lives is increasing as populations’ age, as people survive longer with chronic illnesses and / or multiple co-morbidities, and as the ravages of a relatively affluent lifestyle place them at this of various potentially life-threatening conditions. In an increasingly uncertain and unpredictable world, the prospect of mass casualties as a result of terrorist activity, necessitating on-site critical care support or treatment provided in settings other than intensive care units, is a distinct possibility at any time. Whatever the cause, the same physiological processes go awry when people become critically ill and they will require critical care expertise.

The stark reality is that there will never be enough critical care units and enough beds, resources or nurses to care for all people requiring critical care virtually anywhere in the world. Consequently, adaptation, flexibility, resilience and skill-sharing will become fundamental to the way forward in critical care provision. Critical carer will need to cross boundaries – between units and wards within hospitals, between hospitals, between professions and between countries and continents. This has implications for nursing training, skills development and inter-professionalism. Sharing knowledge and skills holding discussions and debates, generating ideas and planning innovations and research are crucial to the evolution of practice and the purpose of conferences such as the British Association of Critical Care Nurses.

The NHS, despite all the challenges it faces, remains an example of commitment to excellence and innovation in providing cutting-edge and compassionate care to those who need it in the UK. Whilst constantly innovating and seeking ways to develop services in line with the needs of the local population, the NHS medical and nursing fraternity is open to learning from the experience of colleagues from all corners of the world. We are thus eager to welcome all delegates, in order to explore issues surrounding the concepts of “Moral Courage: Meeting the challenges of a contemporary healthcare system”, our proposed conference theme.

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