When it comes to good healthcare, what do your family and friends need? What do our loved ones, who require care, truly need from BC’s healthcare system? Those were the questions Minister Terry Lake asked of participants taking part in a recent forum about the Ministry of Health’s policy papers and how to turn good ideas into action. If home is where the heart is, then perhaps there is no better way to start a conversation about community and health care than by thinking about our loved ones. The minister encouraged us to take off our industry “hat” and think about our role as members of a community who want to meet the needs of those we care about.

CRNBC was asked to join this discussion and share our perspective as a regulating body for nurses. The session was excellent. It brought forward ideas about how we need to shift the culture of looking after the frail elderly in our province. It also challenged us to think carefully about what ‘frail elderly’ means. So much of how seniors are treated is about what others think is best for them—not what they actually want or even need. This forum is the first of many and much work is still needed to move the policy papers from ‘strategy to execution’. Nonetheless, it was a great starting point to begin with these tough but important questions that impact both our work as a regulator, and our family and loved ones.

As a regulator, I know we can do more to help support the systemic transformation the ministry is looking for. In particular, we are and need to continue supporting inter-professional collaboration in the standards we set, the educational programs we review and the partnership opportunities we create with our stakeholders.

These discussions may seem time-consuming against the backdrop of an urgent need for action. But often, taking the time to really understand the issues results in better solutions. The longest way round is often the shortest way home. I am excited to have been invited to the table and even more energized by the belief that together, we can make a difference in the lives of British Columbians.