Excellence in Communications via Meetings

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Highly Commended

Arena for Immunology

by Lucid for AbbVie

Summary of work

The ever-evolving NHS presents a great challenge to UK specialist nurses in their quest for excellence. Arena aims to support specialist nurses to advance clinical practice in the management of inflammatory diseases in dermatology, gastroenterology and rheumatology. A multi-speciality Steering Committee highlights real-life clinical gaps to shape the content of the 2-day annual conference. Identified areas of focus for 2013 were: collaborative working across the specialities, clinician–patient communication and commissioner engagement.

Using an evidence-based model, developed in partnership with an advisory board of psychologists and CME specialists, we created a programme to effect change around the identified areas, by:

  • Understanding real-life barriers to making the desired changes
  • Targeting specialist nurses who are ready to make a change
  • Developing impactful practice-changing sessions to address each objective, via participative workshops, hands-on exercises, peer-to-peer discussions and plenary sessions
  • Celebrating and sharing successful Arena-inspired innovations to ensure continued inspiration.

Change we can believe in! A survey of 80 of 148 Arena delegates, 6 months post-conference, found that Arena has changed the practice of many specialist nurses:

  • Collaborative working: 78%
  • Improving communication with patients: 87%
  • Engaging with commissioners: 23%.

Submitted posters from past delegates detail real-life Arena-inspired changes and impact on patient care.

Judges’ comments

This was a superb example of best practice in medical education. They thought carefully about who should attend and created a very solidly accredited and endorsed programme that contributes to professional development.