'Compassionate care is alive and well in the NHS'
This is the last printed issue of the year and I am determined to make my editor’s view positive as we head into the season of goodwill.
Now that is a fairly hard task considering the year that nursing has had in 2013. There have been blame games, unfortunate examples about poor care, negativity about the profession and it has often felt that there has been little to be positive about.
But last week, I visited University Hospitals of North Staffordshire and I saw first-hand how phenomenal leadership, and caring, compassionate nursing is alive and well in the NHS, despite the stories we’ve heard this year.
I was shown lots of impressive innovations, such as organising the wards to be more dementia friendly. But what seemed to be the common theme underlying these was that the chief nurse Liz Rix was empowering her nursing team to do or change things, if it was the right thing to do for the patient.
This sounds so obvious doesn’t it? But does that always guide every decision made in healthcare provision?
Nurses should not shy away from telling their leaders what is going on, but those leaders need to listen and ensure they are not remote or inaccessible
Ms Rix gives all the credit to her teams, and they say they couldn’t have done it without her. Doubtless, both perspectives are right.
Nurses should not shy away from telling their leaders what is going on, but those leaders need to listen and ensure they are not remote or inaccessible. And in return, nurses must ditch the cynicism and stop believing that everyone in a senior position is a bureaucratic machine.
I am sure there are other chief nurses as successful as Ms Rix, but the moment I will take away is when all her senior nursing team told me, unprompted, how much energy, passion and delight she had brought to her role and the trust.
There are great nurses like Ms Rix and her team all over the UK, and we should not forget that when nursing has had such a difficult year.
Well done to all of you providing excellent nursing care, especially in this, the toughest of all years.
● This may be the last paper magazine of the year, but don’t worry, there are two other special online issues, which we will email out to registered users and subscribers, so you can still get your regular weekly fix of Nursing Times. And don’t forget nursingtimes.net is here 24/7 with a vast array of news and clinical practice pieces. See nursingtimes.net to sign up to our e-newsletters.
Jenni Middleton, editor
firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow me on Twitter @nursingtimesed