Thursday 11 December 2014
With multi-professional networking now universally acknowledged as crucial to optimising the effectiveness of HIV treatment and care, a new organisation launched last month aims to provide a stronger voice for HIV healthcare professionals, and maximise opportunities for joined-up working across clinical disciplines.
The Federation of HIV Associations (FHIVA) will comprise six member organisations: The British HIV Association (BHIVA); The Children’s HIV Association (CHIVA); Dietitians in HIV/AIDS (DHIVA); The HIV Pharmacy Association (HIVPA); The National HIV Nurses Association (NHIVNA); and The Rehabilitation in HIV Association (RHIVA). In addition, the HIV Trainees Club will be affiliated to FHIVA.
Dr David Asboe, Chair of the British HIV Association, which has led the development of the new body, said: “At a time when the importance of professional care networks has never been greater, FHIVA’s mission is to provide a united voice, in order to promote and safeguard clinical excellence in HIV prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care.”
Together, FHIVA members will work with community advocacy groups that represent patients and will explore areas where collaborative initiatives are most likely to benefit clinical excellence. These will include making joint responses to relevant consultations; providing collaborative input into relevant guidelines; and undertaking joint scientific and/or fundraising events, such as events to mark World AIDS Day.
Initial two-year funding will be provided by BHIVA, with FHIVA also able to make finding applications to external funders and sponsors, providing these are not detrimental to the individual organisations’ fundraising efforts.
Dr David Asboe said: “We know there is strength in numbers, and our aim with FHIVA is to bring together the immense knowledge and experience of the broadest possible range of HIV healthcare professionals. While collaboration between disciplines is already extremely healthy, the new organisation underlines our commitment to joint working in pursuit of rapid improvements in the HIV healthcare landscape.”
To maintain focus and ensure that FHIVA does not engage in any activity that could jeopardize the charitable status of any of its members, a steering committee will comprise the chairs or nominated representatives of the seven involved organisations, with a steering committee chair rotating around each member organisation every two years.
Sharon Byrne, Co-Chair of HIVPA, said: "The formation of FHIVA represents the strong multidisciplinary team ethos of HIV healthcare professionals and celebrates our united commitment to truly keep the patient at the heart of our services. United we are stronger than our individual parts."
Michelle Croston, Chair of NHIVNA, said: “We support the opportunity to work in collaboration with the wider multidisciplinary team. Moving forward, joint work will ensure higher standards of care for patients and ensure that resources are effectively used to improve patient care. Working together as an organisation, we are able to have a stronger voice in an ever changing professional landscape.”
FHIVA launches with a busy schedule planned for 2015, including publicizing two forthcoming Models of Networked Care (MONHICA) meetings and the ongoing BHIVA Primary Care Project, running a workshop at the BHIVA Spring Conference in Brighton, 21-24 April, and undertaking at least one joint fund- and awareness raising event during the year.
In addition, FHIVA members will immediately start working collaboratively on a range of joint research projects, including the NHIVNA national research project on shared decision making in HIV care; the HIVPA Medicines Management Optimisation Review Tool; DHIVA research into metabolic disorders and RHIVA research into HIV and exercise.