Holistic HIV care: bridging the gap between primary and secondary care

Elizabeth Foote
HIV Community Specialist Nurse, Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen Hospital Trust

Welcome to the 2018 autumn issue of HIV Nursing. I would like to thank all those who have taken the time to contribute and for all their hard work that has gone into producing an excellent issue.
People with HIV (PWH) are living longer and, therefore, long-term conditions and comorbidities are on the increase, as well as among the general population. The ageing demographic in the UK is placing demands on service provision, hence, the need for innovative, cost-effective and high-quality services is crucial. HIV specialist nurses (HSNs) can draw on their knowledge and expertise and provide high standards of care for PWH while promoting continuity of care. A growing number of people are living with complex care needs that are characterised by multimorbidity, mental health challenges and social deprivation [1]. The need for robust multidisciplinary working among healthcare professionals has never been greater and is crucial. Bridging the gap between primary and secondary care is paramount and some of the following articles throughout this issue will demonstrate this. Shared information is vital to ensure our patient’s journey is seamless and receives high-quality care. Encouraging PWH to share their status with GPs will help ensure care is safe and reduces the risk of drug interactions due to polypharmacy. As HSNs we are best placed to bridge the gap between primary and secondary care, supporting and building good relationships with GP’s as well as the multidisciplinary team in both primary and secondary care settings, coordinating care and referring PWH appropriately. Sharing skills and knowledge and supporting one another are not only beneficial to the patient but to us as healthcare professionals as well. Read more…