Paola Obbia is a fully trained nurse and teacher, working on the CoNSENSo project since the beginning. She shares her vision of the project with us through the following interview. 

How are you involved in the CoNSENSo project?

I am a partner of the WP2. I am a lecturer of the bachelor in Nursing at the University of Turin in Preventive and Community Nursing, since 2013. I am also a lecturer of the Post Graduate Diploma in Family and Community Nursing at the University of Turin, Pavia and Lugano (Switzerland). I have obtained the MSc In Family Health at the West of Scotland University in 2016 and the PGD in Family and Community Nursing at the Turin University in 2009. The University of Turin launched this PGD for Advanced Nursing Practice in 2005, followed by the University of East Piemonte in 2012, and for this reason, the Regione Piemonte has been awarded the label of Reference Site in the European Commission programme called “European Innovative Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing” (EIPonAHA) in 2013.


What impact does CoNSENSo have on traditional nurses’ training?

The traditional Nursing training in Italy is mostly based on the hospital setting and on the response to illness that is already known. The CoNSENSo training is focused on prevention and oriented to the primary care setting and in Public Health. The WHO highlighted recently the lack of training in our workforce to recognise and manage impairments in older people. Ageist stereotypes are also a concern. The CoNSENSo training fills a big gap in our traditional training and looks at the present challenges of the Health Systems.

To take care of our ageing population, we must learn how to apply new strategies to avoid disability and loss of independence in older people, working on prevention and on integrating the social and health care with the resources of families and communities. We are facing a shortage of informal caregivers, and a constraint of human and financial resources, while the demand for care is increasing. We need innovative learning paths enabling our nurses to think critically and creatively, to act proactively, to personalise the care, empower our citizens and help them to stay at home as long as possible. We have learned a lot also from the SUNFRAIL Project about the early detection of frailty and multimorbidity in older people and how to propose feasible and effective interventions.

I think we should transfer part of the CONSENSO training to the bachelor level and also share the Consenso Training in interprofessional PGDs and CME programmes with the other actors of the primary care sector to boost the knowledge required to tackle the present scenario.


What results to you expect from the project?

I expect that the potentiality of the new role of a named Family and Community Nurse as a point of contact between the citizens and the Health and Social System will be recognised by the stakeholders and at the political level. The Director of the Regional Health System of Regione Piemonte called the CONSENSO Project a “revolution”, and I do think it really is. The organisations are very slow to change their management and the OECD in 2010 described the factors that are hindering what already proposed by the WHO-EU Health 21 in 1999 and recommend in 2015 by the Expert Panel on Effective Ways of Investing In Health, in the document Disruptive Innovation -Considerations for health and health care in Europe.