The British HIV Association (BHIVA), working in partnership with care providers, professional associations, commissioners and people living with HIV, has produced a set of quality standards for the care of people with HIV in the UK.
They cover 12 key themes, prioritised as being the most important issues for the care of people with HIV. Derived from the best available evidence, the Standards focus on aspects of care that have particular relevance for delivering equitable high-quality services that secure the best possible outcomes for people with HIV.
It is the position of the National HIV Nurses Association that:
- All people living with HIV should have equitable levels of care irrespective of where they access and who provides that care.
- All care is underpinned by research and governance to ensure continuing high standards of provision.
- All care should be delivered using a multidisciplinary model with the right person providing the right care at the right time.
Statement of Concern:
The NHS is changing, and with it the way in which HIV prevention and care are commissioned and delivered. There is a concern that provision of care will become disjointed, harder to access and will be driven by cost savings rather than governance and research-based decision making, leading to fluctuations in standards based upon region and provider.
It is with this background that NHIVNA welcomes the publication of the new BHIVA Standards of Care for HIV.
The new standards reflect the current health needs of people living with HIV and are extremely relevant to health services that provide their care. They set the benchmark for high quality care in the UK. As the health and social care landscape evolves the standards appear timely in giving guidance to commissioners of care to purchase, and providers of care to deliver, equitable high quality care for people living with HIV.
The standards strong ethos of partnership working, patient involvement and promotion of self-management are central to high quality,equitable service provision and patient centred care.
The language at the heart of the standards reflects a commitment to delivery of care via a truly multidisciplinary model, placing the patients’ best interest at the centre of care services.
Governance is key to these new standards and will therefore allow Providers to show they deliver care that is of an appropriately high standard and can only lead to increased confidence in care provision by commissioners, clinicians and patients alike.
For nursing, the standards will help to inform and encourage the further development and delivery of HIV specialist nursing care within all appropriate clinical settings, outpatients, inpatients and the community. The growth of Advanced Nursing Practice within HIV, will be further enhanced by encouraging a wider debate on the definition and boundaries of Advanced Nursing Practice and delivering this within an appropriately structured and supported Consultant -lead multidisciplinary team.
The development of these standards will, through this further work, allow the right care to be delivered by the right person at the right time, in a way that allows flexibility and choice for the patient.
We therefore support and welcome the guidance that this document provides in relation to the standards of care and look forward to working collaboratively to help maintain and further develop high quality HIV services in the future.