Claire Brewster is a frailty specialist nurse who became involved with the CLEAR programme in 2019 in one of the first urgent and emergency care (UEC) pilot projects.  She’s now working for the national programme as delivery lead. In this blog, she describes her CLEAR journey and the skills she has gained from the programme.

Being part of the National CLEAR Programme has been one of the most inspiring things I’ve done.

After more than 20 years as a senior nurse, I was used to tackling the daily challenges that frontline professionals face and was ready to explore new ways to improve.

CLEAR provided the time and space for me to reflect, analyse and network with colleagues working in similar units at other trusts. Together we were able to troubleshoot the challenges we were facing – both now and in the future – examining innovative ways of maximising our workforce and enhancing patient pathways.

I’m now part of the National CLEAR Team and privileged to be supporting an urgent and emergency care (UEC) project site in Hampshire. Like all emergency departments, the team there face incredible challenges every day.

Despite the unprecedented pressures of the past 18 months, the staff still have an appetite to improve and review their ways of working. The pandemic illustrated how rapidly we can adapt to changing situations and maintaining that momentum is crucial. Now colleagues are under more pressure than ever before, and I feel honoured to be able to assist them reset embracing the NHS culture and values.

We’ve adapted to working virtually but it was incredibly energising recently to meet all the team face-to-face, share my past experiences and together come up with new ideas on how to better care for patients and manage demand.

My next CLEAR project is an exciting one exploring innovation in anticipatory care which is funded by Health Education England and NHS England and Improvement.

Anticipatory care is designed to support those patients who are at high risk of unwarranted health outcomes to live well and independently for longer, through structured proactive care. It supports the Government’s ambition of people having five years of extra healthy life by 2035.

Next year we will be working with seven primary care networks (PCNs) across each of the England regions focussing on dementia, long term conditions, frailty, end-of-life and people who’re housebound. We’ll be engaging with local clinicians pivotal to patient care and training them in the CLEAR methods and identifying patients at risk of adverse health outcomes.

Having previous experience of being a CLEAR Associate with my trust and now part of the Programme’s national team, my project planning and management skills have developed hugely and I’m looking forward to supporting the success of these projects.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my CLEAR journey so far and am really honoured to be part of such a vital piece of work which is just a couple of months from going live in January!