Dear Member, AGM Firstly - Thank you to all those who voted in our online AGM. It is very important that we move forward directed by membership and we can only do so if you tell us what you want and how you feel. We will post the results of the voting by email, on the website and on Facebook for you all to digest. It seems the one vote that is unresolved is the practitioner finder and how we credential members. This will clearly need further consideration and discussion. Until we have a consensus, we will postpone the introduction of the practitioner finder. It is clear we have failed to communicate our reasoning, though we don’t doubt we will never get absolute consensus because there will be those who feel they are being discriminated against. We are aiming for those who don’t meet the criteria to work towards it. Credentialing is impossible to get perfect but we can see how the competencies will help give nurses direction and guide them on the necessary journey of professional development. Our Vision For Credentialing: We agreed that the keys are: Experience, Education and Knowledge. We then considered how we might measure these objectively. We agreed it would be reasonable and practical to take these from a minimum standard, which might fall short of the optimum in the views of some. Experience The NMC requires 3 years post-registration experience, one of which must be in your field of practice, prior to undertaking the V300. We have members new to aesthetics and members with 20 years plus experience. There will be individuals who hit the ground running and will do more treatments in 12 months than someone ticking away doing a bit here and there over a period of years. Some do a course and do nothing much for some years. We will ask for certificates to evidence training, but we recognise experience cannot be judged on when you did your training alone. We also recognise that volume of work isn’t necessarily a perfect indicator of quality either. Education We will ask for evidence of CPD. We all need to learn in order to develop; we know there may be some members with limited time, funds or access to further training, and some who may sit back and coast along. We have agreed 2 training events a year as a minimum standard, this is higher than required by The NMC, but none of the Board saw any way a nurse could practice without this CPD. Internal training alone is not sufficient. All nurses are required by The NMC to keep a portfolio of CPD.
Knowledge You may be able to evidence training and experience, but your knowledge may be limited, so we will design an online exam to test your knowledge, based on the competencies. We want you to pass, so we will help you to be prepared. Not perfect, but better than nothing. Remember also, that the practitioner finder is an optional extra, and those who meet the criteria should be able to afford the additional £100 and may choose simply not to bother. References We will ask for references - not friends or family, not clients, but employers or company representatives, or both. We feel if you are doing well you will have attracted the attention and support of company representatives. References should further support claims for experience and skills. If you have problems getting a reference then you can contact us and we will see what we can do. We are developing mentoring and supervision pathways on the back of the competencies. Qualified Prescribers We have proposed that all nurses on the practitioner finder must be prescribers. Those who have completed this course will understand why. The value of the V300 goes far beyond the ability to prescribe. It reintroduces you to academic study and has you explore the process of examination, assessment, diagnosis and treatment planning. It teaches you the broader ethical and legislative framework. We recognise that prescribing alone does not make you a better aesthetic nurse; we know we have members who have joined us simply to exploit their prescribing qualification to be paid by aesthetic nurses to prescribe toxins. This is why the prescribing qualification alone will not qualify you to be on the practitioner finder. An analogy that may help you understand the Board’s perspective: You may have been driving for years in the days when no license was required, consider yourself to be an excellent driver and never have had an accident. Now you are required to do a test and have a license to prove your knowledge and skills. Those of us who have been driving for years all know, if we had to do the test again today, it would be an effort, we won’t know all we need to know to pass the test, it will be a hassle and we might have a sneaking fear we won’t be good enough to pass; whilst also being conflicted, thinking “Yes, but I have been fine for all these years and I’m better than many idiot drivers with the license!”. But now you can choose. You can either take the test so that you can continue to drive independently (and probably be even better and safer for taking it); or you can be a passenger, maybe having someone from the same household, perhaps far less experienced drive for you, someone who could probably learn a thing or two from you. Or you can take a taxi and pay someone to drive you. Neither of those options really makes sense in the long term, but you absolutely have those options.
Which brings us onto the subject of the ‘taxi drivers’: Are they mini cabs or black cabs? Non prescribers should be carried safely by black cabs. We would like to see the role of the ‘taxi driver’ to be that of mentor and supervisor, not just prescriber, and for this role to developed, with our support, in line with the competencies. It should be seen as part of the journey towards independence, and not as a permanent arrangement for those who don’t want to take the test. The BACN does not apologise for encouraging aesthetic nurses to seize the opportunity to be in the driving seat, we know you are worthy of the license. There is also no shame in having a driver, whether because you choose not to take the test or whether you have one whilst you gain experience, under supervision and with guidance. We are consulting with The Association of Nurse Prescribers, who, by the way, has been critical of current prescribing arrangements, concerned that they do not meet NMC Standards. We do not want this to be the next ’scandal’. Far better to be prepared to defend a model, the need for it and to demonstrate a model of best practice, so it cannot be seen as a purely commercial arrangement in the interests of the nurse rather than the patient.
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Change is in the wind As we await the Keogh Review verdict (expected later this month) and the upcoming European Standard (CEN) Aesthetic Surgery Services results we want to ensure we are ready for whatever the outcome decisions may be. We have a mandate from membership to manage that change rather than passively drift in the wind. We are excited and inspired by the potential aesthetic nurses in the UK have to drive and secure the role of nurses in this field of practice and we should be proud and celebrate, if not own the word, ‘elite’, rather than use it, as some nurses do, as a criticism. Thank you to the clear majority of members who value the work being done and fully support the direction we are going in. We began as an organisation 4 years ago to facilitate a sense of community, networking and education, but have grown beyond expectations into so much more. It is most important now that we ensure we are able to sustain the volume of work generated. There are many tasks which require a commitment of time and effort and few are willing or able to volunteer. Our early expectation was that members would take on these tasks - many hands and minds would make light work - this has proved to be an unrealistic expectation; members are undertaking further study, running businesses, meeting the demands of family and jobs, and seem to NEED others to do this work for them, and expect that from ‘THE BACN’. Who are THE BACN? There seems to be some confusion. YOU, the membership, are THE BACN. We wanted the Board to simply represent you, initiate and direct work which we hoped would be furthered by willing members, for the members. The Board too, have jobs, businesses, families and homes to manage. Some of them undertook the V300 whilst sitting on the Board. We have been very lucky so far that members of the Board have risen to the challenge, and dedicated time and effort beyond what should be reasonably expected, to ensure the potential we have is not wasted or does not lose momentum or focus. We recognise the volume of work being undertaken is not sustainable on a voluntary basis alone. The Board represents and make decisions on behalf of members.
Becoming More Professional We have Kris, who works full time to manage membership and all that entails: data base, renewals, member queries and problems, and communications. Liz de Pass joined the team in October to manage sales and marketing (we need to drive revenue from sponsors, advertising etc, in order to keep subscriptions low), also meetings and workshops, conference, website etc. Both are doing a grand job and both are extremely busy! The burden of work on members of the Board has been steadily rising and to the detriment of businesses and family life. We are not complaining, we are all totally committed and passionate and donâ€™t want to let anything slip BUT we have to admit, this has only been sustainable so far because we have put The BACN first and we now recognise that to go forward on a voluntary basis is not sustainable in the long term. It has become stressful to cope whilst juggling other balls and if Board members step down because they cannot cope, we are doomed to fail.
In the short term we need a Chief Operating Officer to take on and drive projects forward and relieve some of the burden from others. This cannot be done on a voluntary basis. None of us want to give up our clinical work. Until now, Emma have been working at least 25 hours a week, week in week out in addition to a full working week (as have others on the Board) but it has become stressful doing so whilst also managing clinics and patients. The present Board is made up of a mixed group: some of us who set up the Association, and others who volunteered and were elected. Like any company, Boards change, and like any company, can fail if there is not strong, fair, dedicated leadership at the helm. To keep the Association going for many years to come, will mean new faces and willing volunteers passionate about aesthetics, who have expertise and dedication. We need to be realistic and ensure that whatever we do is sustainable, as those on the Board now have limited terms (8 years maximum). Is it reasonable to expect others who follow to do the same? We need and value the time volunteered by members working on specific projects and will continue to do so, not least because this important work needs input from those with special interest or experience. But it also enables others to grow and develop, and provides a platform for recognition and acknowledgement of the many experts we have in our midst. However volunteering time for specific projects is not the same as being responsible for the overall outcome and success, dissemination and communication of ALL we do.
The Board have discussed this over the years and agreed it would be best if someone could be paid to set aside time to focus on BACN work. We recognise there are not sufficient funds to pay someone full time and we also recognise we probably need a whole team, paid and dedicated (we dream). One day the BACN may be run more like a large business. The board is pleased the majority of those who voted agree to have a funded post (operating officer) whose role and responsibility will be to drive and coordinate projects (which drift without dedicated and focussed leadership), design and publish surveys to inform direction, liaise with and build relationships with stakeholders, communications (this newsletter usually takes up a weekend!), standards, and we shall see what the year ahead holds. Emma will earn her keep, but also appreciates that we are no longer a bunch of amateurs, we have to operate in a business-like manner and that there will be a need, and funds, for more professional staff as we continue to grow. We have strict guidelines for expenses in line with The RCN and not a penny of membership money is spent lightly. We will publish the accounts on our website with a report from the Treasurer, Jonathan. Jonathan and his partner have just had their first baby Welcome to the world baby Thomas and Congratulations Jonathan! We are making every effort to drive funds and keep subscriptions down. And in answer to one members question: No, the increase in membership funds is not being made to pay Emmaâ€™s wages membership subscriptions fund the salaries of Kris and Liz, fixed overheads of the office, meetings, subsidise events, training and workshops, cover expenses for meetings and projects, the newsletter, stationery, marketing etcâ€Ś All these costs increase every year, especially as we take on new projects at the request of members. However, we cannot sustain this level of activity without the addition of generous sponsorship contributions. Work Being Done This will be a very productive year, since we should begin to see the fruits of all the hard work going on behind the scenes. The Prescribing Guidelines have been reviewed and updated and are included. Andrew Rankin and Marea Brennan Thorns will be working with The Association of Nurse Prescribers to explore the unresolved issues of nurses holding stock drugs, particularly emergency drugs. We will keep you posted on any progress made. Thank you Andrew, Marea, Helena Collier, Frances Turner Traill, Rachael Goddard, Kate Harding, Lorna Bowes and Kerrie Jaynes. Click here to view the latest prescribing guidelines The working group on protocols have got the ball rolling with the first protocol, ready to be shared, which will ease the development of more to follow. Thank you Kay Greveson, Paula Shurrock, Libby Stewart and Sue Ibrahim. Click here to view the latest protocols.
The consent forms are in first draft, going out for editing as we speak. This was a task much more complicated than it first looked. We gathered many examples of good and not so good, considered what made a good consent form, the information that needed to be included and how, reviewed the language and presentation and aimed for consistency throughout the various procedures. Since individuals will have their own strong opinions, these and the protocols should be seen as templates and could be further edited to suit your own practice, but the templates should be helpful in signposting essential inclusions. Of course, like all documents, they will be reviewed as necessary. Further details and hopefully more final drafts will be included in next monthâ€™s newsletter. The Competencies, probably the biggest undertaking, is in 5th draft and we expect it to be ready to submit to the RCN for accreditation by the end of this month. It is hoped this document will help benchmark and signpost training, education, appraisal and continuing professional development. Members will appreciate how this document more than any other will help us develop further and, in particular, for all of us to assess where we are in our professional development and have a clear idea of where we need to be, how to get there and how to evidence the journey, from advanced beginner to expert. Thank you to Michelle Irving who has led the team, Suzanne Armstrong, Sharon Dobbs, Adrian Baker, Lou Sommereux, Sharon Bennett, Liz Bardolph, Constance Campion and Emma Davies. The group charged with developing guidelines for mentoring have been extremely thorough and forward thinking and will present their work, which includes structure and process to ensure quality and standards for those seeking a mentor. July is the deadline they hope to meet. Thank you Liz Bardolph, Lorna Bowes and Sharon King. Political Update: Keogh Review As members should know, we have been active participants in this review. We submitted a 200-page report to the review in October (available on our website) and attended two meetings at The Department of Health (details in previous newsletters archived on the website). The review panel is expected to report this month. Whatever the outcome, The BACN will support members to manage change. We expect regulation and we expect changes to education and training models, but cannot speculate on how this might look or how long we will have to meet any standards set. The European Standards (CEN) Sharon Bennett sits on the BSI committee representing the UK and informs us "European Committee (CEN/TC 403) responsible for the overall management of the prEN 16372 Aesthetics Standard has now announced that the issues causing a possible delay in the start of the public consultation have been overcome. Therefore in the UK the public consultation went live yesterday afternoon 19th March 2013 and is open for comments until 20th May 2013. To comment on the Standard during this period go to http://drafts.bsigroup.com/Home/Details/51036
Lou Sommereux and Kris Wilkinson continue to work with the members and group leaders to help with the challenges of getting members together. Geography and time seems to be a sticking point for some. We have a facility for conference calls, which the board use to keep travelling costs down. This may be helpful for members to gather to improve communication and have meetings when they can’t physically come together. I would like to suggest groups make use of this, in particular, for discussing BACN matters (such as the strategic plan) and then feeding back as a group. Leaders unaware of this (all have been emailed) should contact Kris for further information. We have also centralised the organisation of funding/sponsorship of workshops to make the workload of individual leaders lighter and to ensure great workshops are offered nationally. This has been requested and agreed with sponsors, who for their part, felt some reps are more proactive than others and some are leaned on more than others. Going forward, we have asked companies to submit agendas they would like to offer groups and for regions to request workshops they would like, via Kris and Lou. We will do the rest. We hope this improved organisation will ensure better attendance, wider promotion and better value. We also agreed at The Regional Group Leaders Meeting in November, that regions would set dates for the diary 12 months in advance and aim for a minimum of 4 meetings annually (those wanting more, could arrange more) We are still waiting for dates from a majority of groups…. Communication is key, read the emails, contact us to share information, or with queries or ideas. Let us know if you need help. Mandatory Training The BLS training provided by ECG is very well received and very popular. Members who have attended should be aware that they need not repeat the physical training every 12 months as there is the facility to update online for 2 out of 3 years. We will explore this option also, not only to reduce costs, but also to improve accessibility. There are also other updates available and we will explore how we might provide this for membership. Business Skills Workshop Possibly one of the best business skills workshops ever! A huge thank you to Sharon Bennett for putting this outstanding programme of speakers and topics together. We will have an outline and synopsis published in JAN, hopefully for the next but one issue. I Don’t know how we will top it, but Sharon is all fired up to run another one next year! Hooray!
Emma Davies BACN Chair