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British Liver Nurses’ Forum (BLNF)

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About the British Liver Nurses’ Forum

The British Liver Nurses Forum was developed as a joint initiative in 1998, by the British Liver Trust in association with nurses from all clinical areas and departments who seek to promote and develop the care of patients with liver disease.The Forum holds one national conference each year, and publishes twice yearly newsletters. It has a committee which plays an active role in promoting the work of the Forum.

The present committee reflects the aim of the Forum to include and embrace all areas of Liver Nursing, current committee members are listed below.The committee is committed to holding the national conference in varied venues across the country, not just the major teaching hospitals!

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What are the aims of the forum?

With Liver Nurses from all backgrounds the Forum seeks to provide:

  • A nationwide opportunity to network and exchange ideas, views and information
  • A network in which to develop peer group support
  • A platform to promote and disseminate nurse-led research into liver disease
  • To encourage co-operation and the adoption of best practice between units

These aims are embraced in the statement that the Forum exists to give all liver nurses a voice in the development of the nursing role and patient care.

How do I benefit by being a member?

As a member of the British Liver Nurses Forum you will:

  • Be invited to attend the national conference; and receive regular newsletters
  • Receive an opportunity to hear the latest nurse-led liver research, and to present any of your own research findings
  • Be able to instigate or join in with collaborative multi-centered research, with other units/areas
  • Find out about the best practice in other liver centres and to develop multicentred patient protocols and care pathways.
  • Be able to give and receive support from your nursing peers
  • Give liver nurses a voice within the multiprofessional liver disciplines
  • Promote the status of hepatology nurses throughout the health service

Bursary news

BLNF members are now able to apply for either an educational or travel bursary. Click on Bursary News to find out more.

Who can join?

Any nurse who works with adult or paediatric liver patients, from all clinical areas, wards departments and units, or any nurse with a special interest in liver disease is welcome to join. The Forum has members and welcomes all nurses from England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Ireland.

How do I join?

If you are a nurse with an interest in hepatology and would like to join the Forum, please contact us by email or telephone 01425 481320

The committee members

Michelle Clayton – Lecturer in Liver Care, St. James’s University Hospital, Leeds

My interest in hepatology and transplantation started in 1991 when I undertook the ENB A09 course at King’s College Hospital, London where I later worked as a staff nurse. I moved to the Liver Unit in Leeds in 1993. I became the Lecturer/Practitioner in Liver Care in January 2002, having previously been involved in professional development of staff for a number of years. I became a full time lecturer at the University of Leeds in January 2006.

I currently run a number of modules focussing on liver care and transplantation. My liver interests particularly include acute liver failure, jaundice, haemochromatosis and evolving treatment options for liver failure.

Elizabeth Farrington, Nurse Specialist Hepatology, Royal Cornwall Hospital, Truro

I qualified in 1995 with a BSc in Nursing Studies and went on to work in a variety of hospitals around the UK, predominantly in GI surgery. I developed a specific interest in Hepatology whilst working in New Zealand where there is a high proportion of HBV, particularly in the Maori population. I moved to Cornwall in 2002 and started working with HCV treatment patients as a specialist nurse.

In 2003 I started an MSc in Advanced Healthcare Practice inclusive of the RCN accredited Nurse Practitioner Course. This has allowed me to develop my practice and work autonomously, seeing patients with a variety of Hepatological conditions, many of whom are undiagnosed. I am an independent referrer for radiological and endoscopic procedures and am trained fully to perform percutaneous liver biopsy. This provides continuity of care for liver patients in Cornwall as it is also my responsibility to decide and maintain treatment programmes, with minimal input from the Consultant Hepatologist.

My particular interest is auto-immune liver disease.

Linda Greenslade, Clinical Nurse Specialist in Hepatology, Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust

I have a long association with Hassall ward (now 10N), the liver unit here at the Royal Free having many years ago been the senior sister when we started our current liver transplant programme and more recently working as a research nurse on the unit. I worked as a research nurse for 10 years and mainly stayed in that role for so long because the trials were very clinically focused and I worked closely in the clinical areas providing support to the nurses as well as the patients and their families.

My role then changed into that of a clinical nurse specialist in hepatology and it was developed to provide a specialist service for patients, their families and the multi-disciplinary team working in Hepatology. I am mainly concerned with newly diagnosed patients and those with chronic liver disease and its many complications. My role is also partly ward based where I work with the nurses in a supporting and development role as well as offering support and advice to the in-patients and their families. The rest of my time is developing a nurse led service that offers support to outpatients in the clinic or by phone and to other areas of the hospital with liver patients. By reviewing the types of patient we see, several services were naturally developed.

Like all roles mine is constantly changing and evolving but its core is to provide patients and their families with quality care.

Sue Goldthorpe, Viral Hepatitis Nurse, Calderdale & Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust

Since qualifying, in 1988, I have always worked in a gastroenterology / hepatology environment. Initially I worked in Oxford, both at the John Radcliffe Hospital and for Oxford University. During this time I published several articles and co-wrote the Inflammatory Bowel disease chapter in “Nursing in Gastroenterology”.

In 2006, I had a change of heart and returned to Yorkshire. In 2008 I started working as the lone viral hepatitis nurse for my Trust. By 2009, I had become an independent prescriber and this encouraged me to continue my education. In 2013, I completed my MSc in Health Care Studies (Long Term Conditions). My dissertation explored the knowledge and perceptions of hepatitis C amongst primary care practitioners and highlighted how they can struggle to access appropriate, up to date information about this specialist area.

Peter Robinson Smith, Abdominal Recipient Transplant Coordinator, Freeman Hospital

I qualified in Edinburgh in 1998, then moved to Leeds to work on a cardiac surgery ward and then onto Cardiac ITU in Newcastle the year after; looking after patients undergoing routine cardiac surgery and also cardiothoracic transplantation. Five years later, somewhat disillusioned with nursing and the NHS, I left and worked outside of the NHS for four years, running chronic disease clinics and also managing the North East section of the Risk project for the British Heart Foundation.

I found that I missed calling myself a nurse and so returned to the NHS in 2010; firstly as a Junior Charge Nurse in a respiratory medical unit and now as an abdominal transplant coordinator. My role specifically involves working with patient’s pre and post liver transplant and developing services for this group of patients. I have completed my BSc in Nursing Practice and now currently studying for my MSc in Nursing with the main focus being Transplantation Science.

My main interest is patients and ensuring that we treat all of them as we would like to be treated ourselves. I feel that if we can achieve this, then care and excellence will follow. Outside of work my chosen passions include rugby union, food and travel.

Bronwen Williams, Hepatology Research Nurse, Hull Royal Infirmary

I qualified in 1992 from the Royal London Hospital where I worked as a staff nurse on an acute medical and gastroenterology ward. This sparked my interest in hepatology and in 1995 I moved to the Liver Unit at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham. Here I worked on the pre-transplant, liver intensive care and post-transplant units.

I spent a few years in Birmingham before leaving to manage health projects in a number of countries in Africa for an international aid agency. The health projects were extremely varied ranging from clinic-based primary health care to community-based malaria, reproductive health and HIV/AIDS health education/promotion programmes. During this time I had various administrative roles, but a key role was to develop staff capacity and skills in the health sector. In between my overseas placements, I also fitted in an MSc in International Health Management from Birmingham University.

For the last four years I have been working in Hull as a Hepatology Research Nurse, going back to my roots as a liver nurse. In 2013, I piloted a research project with the Hepatology consultant and GPs in Hull, looking at NAFLD in the community. I continue to work on hepatology clinical trials, whilst also acting as a project manager on the development of Hull’s own sponsored trials. In the future, I hope to focus on nurse-led liver research, giving it a more prominent role in the research literature.