Liam Williams, Director of Quality and System Performance and registered nurse shares his appreciation for frontline staff and reflects on their support during the pandemic.
Last year was the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife with huge amounts planned to celebrate the contribution of nurses and midwives across the country, most of which did not happen! However, we have had a year in which the wider public has seen the NHS through a renewed lens of commitment, collaboration and compassion, and I hope this renewed understanding of the NHS and in particular what my profession represents, will have a longer-lasting legacy.
Personally, I found the last year as challenging as many others did within the NHS. Within South, Central and West, leading national programmes with teams working remotely, determining how we build new services and ensure high-quality provision in areas that we have not previously had the scale of capability.
Refocusing between the competing demands of responding to the latest pandemic requirement, while also evolving our services to focus on the future needs of an ICS and the wider NHS recovery plans, ensured we were kept on our toes. This was made possible by the commitment of everyone involved in the work we are doing, managers, physios, pharmacists, analysts and of course, registered nurses.
And as we celebrate Nurses Week, I will single out my profession for a little more lavish praise. We have more nurses working in NHS SCW now than has ever been the case and the clinical leadership in our organisation across health care professions has grown significantly.
Nursing roles in our organisation include, Clinical Advisors to Care Navigation Services, a Clinical Lead for Mental Health, a Digital Clinical Safety Officer, Clinical Project leads to Cancer Transformation and Health Visitors within CHIS. For many of us, we have also gained new roles as COVID-19 vaccinators. Thank you to all our team who have played a really important role in supporting NHS SCW play its full part in the NHS over the last year.
Across our organisation, many have been working with nurses, midwives and health visitors in a myriad of different roles and services, supporting them however needed, operationally, strategically or transformationally. This commitment to ensuring frontline clinical staff have been best placed to meet the challenging requirements of the NHS throughout the pandemic is equally valued.
‘You may not come to work and wear a uniform and you may not do your work at the bedside but the work you do, the contribution you make, ensures that there are people at the bedside, in the uniforms and there are beds and meals and heat and light and all the other things that go together to make up the organisation that we so casually call the NHS.’ (Lilley, R 2020)
I hope you will all join me in celebrating Nurses Week and the work of our peers across the NHS, independent sector, social care and voluntary organisations. Happy Nurses Day.
Find out more about International Nurses Day 2021.