AT A GLANCE: CIPR health and medical offers key nursing event

What’s this?
The Chartered Institute of PR’s (CIPR) health and medical group is holding a joint event with the Royal College of Nursing (RCN). It’s the first time the two bodies have run a function together. Billed as an ‘afternoon networking seminar’, it takes place on Monday 9 July at the RCN’s HQ in London W1.

Why is this of interest to comms people?
The event is about the importance for PROs of engaging with nurses in the current healthcare environment and presents an opportunity to share best practice – ‘Engage, Relate and Communicate with Nursing Professionals’ is the tagline.

So what’s on the agenda?
Dr Peter Carter, RCN general secretary, is going to give an address. But healthcare and pharma PROs might be particularly interested in the words of Professor Matt Griffiths. He is the RCN’s advisor in nurse prescribing and will be talking about the influence and outlook of nursing professionals.

Anything from PR agencies?
Chandler Chicco Agency is to present a case study on work with Pfizer. Other attendees so far include representatives from pharma companies such as Norgine. Someone from the Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority will also be there to answer questions about the ABPI code and how to avoid falling foul of it.

Nurses are hardly a new stakeholder group, are they?
No, but the awarding of prescribing powers to nurses was one of the most dramatic recent developments in healthcare, freeing up GPs and hospital doctors to engage in more complex care. Despite initial reservations from parts of the medical profession, there are now around 30,000 nurses in the UK who are qualified to prescribe drugs.

Are other such events planned?
CIPR health and medical group chairman Justin Wilkes says he wants to extend the CIPR’s reach to stakeholders by developing ‘informal relationships’ with medical and patient groups, and this is a first step towards achieving this. The event is free, open to both CIPR members and non-members, and there are places available. It starts at 2.45pm at the RCN and moves on to a nearby bar for drinks and a chance to mingle with attendees.

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