This is my second year as Chief Nurse at ASPH, and I am filled with excitement as May 12th approaches. We have been feverishly preparing to celebrate International Nurses’ Day with our fellow healthcare professionals across the globe at the trust at our annual Pride in Nursing Day on the 10th May.
As I pause and reflect on my journey as a nurse, I am reminded of the vitally significant and unique contributions of nurses and midwives around the world, and the variety of ways we contribute to health, care and the well-being of people who use our services. I would like to say thank you to the nurses and midwives at ASPH who go above and beyond every single day, providing not only safe and compassionate care, but demonstrating their leadership and passion in highly pressured and challenged circumstances. As I spend time in the clinical environments, it fills me with pride to observe the fantastic care and outstanding services provided by nurses and midwives. I am also grateful for the contribution of our international nurses and recognise that so many of ASPH nurses and midwives originate from international countries and I hope that we have made you feel truly a part of the team.
This day marks the anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, and this year our theme for PINM 2019 is ‘Health for all - in a just culture’. Nurses have a long history to responding to the changing needs of society and have made significant strides in health care and improvement such as infant and maternal mortality. ‘Health for all’ means not just the availability of health services, but a complete state of physical and mental health that enables a person to lead a socially and economically productive life. As one of the most trusted and respected professions, I believe that nursing has a pivotal role to play in addressing the multiple health challenges that are being faced not only in the UK but all over the world. On this day, I am also reminded of how well nurses and midwives care for one another, and the fundamental elements of trust, respect and inclusion. These values must continue to be at the heart of an organisation so that we can provide safety for all. One of the ways in which we demonstrate these values is by being transparent with nurses and midwives about safety and to be sure we apply the same behavioural standards to everyone, regardless of position or rank. A Just Culture grows where respect is shown when concerns are acknowledged, considered and if possible, acted upon. Respect also means explaining when concerns will not be acted upon and why. Whilst I am fully committed to focussing on patients receiving the best health services we offer, I’m equally bound to pursue the focus on treating staff well so that they can be the best that they can be, and create a set of conditions where staff can flourish.
Having read the aims of the International Council of Nurses this year, I reflected upon how closely these align and link with the Trusts aims and direction of travel in the Surrey Heartlands Integrated Care System (ICS). My reflection is that nurses are the golden thread that runs through every health and social care system, and the goals for the ICS ranging from first to last 1000 days of life cannot be achieved without nurses and midwives. The aims range from combatting air pollution, reducing health inequalities, improving maternal and infant mortality and delivering outstanding end of life care. I maintain that integrating health systems provides a fantastic opportunity to bring nurses’ contributions to the table to be critically appraised and to make sure we are offering the best services in the best place to meet the needs of our population, now and in the future. I look forward to the continued transformation we will bring in working with other health professionals as we forge a new way forward in Surrey Heartlands. I feel that this year’s anniversary provides an important opportunity to not only reflect on our many achievements but to look eagerly to the future too.
I hope you enjoy our Pride in Nursing and Midwifery Day on the 10th of May. Personally, I am looking forward to spending the day with you sharing, listening and learning together! It looks to be an informative and interactive day with external speakers, audit poster prizes and the Chief Nurse Awards in recognition of those who are being and giving their best self every day!
I will leave you with one last thought on my feelings about what you mean to us at ASPH- which comes from the country in which I originate from.
“I see you I respect you I value you and You are important to me”.