As ASPH's Chief Nurse, on this year's Pride in Nursing and Midwifery Day, I am delighted to be writing this week's message.
The annual Pride in Nursing and Midwifery Day on 10th May, and International Nurses Day, which this year is on Sunday 12th May, are among my favourite events. And this year is no different.
Today, as part of our celebrations, I spent time with some fantastic Team ASPH nurses and midwives at a Health for All event in Chertsey House. I was so proud to hear from nursing and midwifery colleagues across ASPH as well some uplifting presentations from external speakers.
I, and I think everyone else in the room, was particularly touched to hear research nurse Megan McGee reading her 'Proud of my Profession' poem. If you weren't able to hear it first hand, or want to hear it again, take a look at this short video of Megan reading her poem. I defy you not to be moved by Megan's words.
We were very fortunate that Joanne Bosanquet MBE, who was recently appointed as Chief Executive of Foundation of Nursing Studies (FONS), chaired the day for us. It was fantastic to hear more from Joanne about Nursing Now, a three-year global campaign (2018-2020), aims to improve health by raising the profile and status of nursing worldwide.
Thank you to Professor Melaine Coward who shared her journey from student nurse through to her current role as professor at University Surrey. It was inspirational and demonstrated how most nursing careers take twists and turns.
I was delighted to welcome Yvonne Coghill OBE, who is Deputy Director of RCN as well as Director of NHS WRES (Workforce Race Equality Standard). Yvonne, who many of you will know as an outstanding nurse leader, shared some of the important work she is leading across the NHS nationally to tackle important race equality issues. It's a sobering thought that BME staff are less likely to be appointed from shortlists and then once they are hired, much more likely to go through formal disciplinary procedures. We have to make sure that at ASPH this doesn't happen and that, as Yvonne says, we 'Break down the walls' so that all colleagues are treated fairly and equitably.
Thank you also to non-executive director Hilary McCallion who spoke about her experience of the Magnet programme, which she introduced as a director of nursing at a mental health trust. We are planning on using some of the principles to drive improvements in the coming years.
In the afternoon we heard from Michelle Mello, National Clinical Lead, Personalised Care Group at NHSEI. She gave us food for thought as we continue our journey of improvement. Thank you Michelle.
While it is great to hear from external speakers, I was particularly pleased to hear from Deputy Head of Midwifery Gemma Puckett who shared her insights into the importance of the human touch and its role in the journey of maternity transformation. Her words 'kindness is infectious' particularly resonated with me and many others in the room.
In my recent blog I discussed Just Culture, where respect is shown when concerns are acknowledged, considered and if possible, acted upon. At the end of the afternoon, it was very useful to hear Director of Workforce, Louise McKenzie who outlined ASPH's plans for implementing Just Culture here.
I was so proud to see all of the winners collect their much coveted awards. This year's winners were:
- 1st - Sue Harris and Bibiana Baumgart
- 2nd - Natalie Wright
- 3rd - Ingrid Richmond
- Health Promotion - Jinnie McCallion
- Visible Leadership Category - Harriet Barker
- Patient Advocate Category - Darren Gaywood
- Supporting Colleagues - Leynie Lugtu
- Research & Innovation in practice - Susan Snaith
- Promoting Professional Education Category - Monica Thompson
- Safe and Effective Category - Urszula Dobroszek
- Unsung Hero - Registered Nurse - Rita Acquah
- Unsung hero - unregistered nurse - Sam Flowers
- Chief Nurse Award - Ian Atienza
Finally I would like to say huge thank you to everyone involved in this year's Pride in Nursing and Midwifery Day. It takes a lot of organising and its success relies on the support and co-operation of a huge number of people. Thank you to everyone one who made an award nomination.
And lastly thank you to Fiona Holley, Harriet Barker, Sofia Perez-Broz and Charlotte Broughton who put so much effort into organising today's celebration.
Pride in Nursing and Midwifery Day allows us to reflect, look to the future as well as celebrate the amazing work that goes on across all areas and sites. I am so proud of the nursing and midwifery teams throughout ASPH, not just today, but throughout the year.
With very best wishes,