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MRC Prion Unit
From fundamental research to prevention and cure

Philosophy of Nursing at the NPC

Leddy and Pepper (2003) defined philosophy of nursing as the intellectual and affective outcomes of the professional nurses' efforts to understand the ultimate relationship among humans, environment, and health; to approach nursing as a scientific discipline; to integrate a sense of values into practice; to appreciate esthetical elements that contribute to health and well-being; and to articulate a personal belief system about human beings, environment, health and nursing.

At the NPC our nursing philosophy is providing an atmosphere of comfort while delivering care to the public we serve, it is our belief that the dignity and worth of individual must be respected and preserved. We further believe that the nursing care must be consistent with and specifically designed to meet the needs of the patient, family members and the community in which the patient lives.


The Nursing service at the NPC is an advisory outreach service to multi-disciplinary health teams throughout the United Kingdom. The function and aim of the nursing team is, 

  • To demonstrate advanced assessment skills in identifying patients' physical, social and psychological needs, as a basis for planning, implementing and evaluating a collaborative programme of care and providing specialist advice that is evidence based and appropriately supports clinical outcomes in prion disease.

  • To provide information, advice and support to patients, families and other Health Care Professionals within the Trust, nationally and internationally on prion disease, by face to face contact, via the telephone advice line (including registered and generic callers), via e-mail and in writing. 

  • To be visible in the clinical area, playing an active role in the nursing care of patients with prion disease and acting as a credible role model and resource for both staff and patients/clients. 

  • To act as patient advocate in line with the NHS plan, through provision of effective support and information that enables patients and their relatives to make informed choices and decisions concerning treatment - where necessary to facilitate communication and decision­ making between patients, their families and the inter-disciplinary team. 

  • To set, monitor and improve standards of care, including the development of clinical pathways in partnership with support staff, to ensure that care, treatment and service needs are met for all patients that come under the care of the NPC. 

  • To advocate a healthy lifestyle for patients and staff, providing guidance regarding wellness, disease risks and potential changes in health status in line with the Department of Health's national targets. 

  • To initiate the development of tools to improve the quality of service and to champion sound clinical leadership and develop support mechanisms for sharing good clinical practice within the clinical area, Trust wide, nationally and internationally. 

  • Contribute to the investigation of complaints, accident reports and untoward incidents within the clinical area and implement recommendations for action, in line with Trust Policies and procedures and in conjunction with individual ward or departmental managers. 

  • To champion current trends and developments in nursing education and practice­ development within the NHS and take an active lead in advancing nursing/clinical practice through the implementation of evidence based practice and research on prion disease. 

  • To formulate appropriate care plan pathways using formal referral mechanisms to the appropriate primary and secondary service to ensure effective levels of health and social care for patients with prion disease.

  • To provide information and support to clients, their partners or relatives, in relation to their known or unknown risk factors for prion disease and the impact this may have on their life.

  • To support and provide emotional, medical and social needs assessment. This will involve communicating clearly and effectively both medical and psychological information to clients in various levels of distress from varying backgrounds and belief structures



The Clinical Nurse Specialists led by the Nurse Consultant will provide information, education and advice on the following health needs, which are common amongst patients with prion disease and in keeping with Roper Logan and Tierney’s evidence based model for care planning (Roper, Logan and Tierney 2000).