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'It's incredible to see such innovation at such a high level'

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The country is experiencing a bit of a hangover post-Olympic Games.

It was such a thrilling, exhilarating and exciting 16 days that everyone got wrapped up in it, even the diehard cynics who complained that hosting the Games would cause constipation in our capital’s transport system.

And there was good reason to feel so euphoric. Apparently crime dropped 5% in the capital while everyone was distracted by the running, jumping and diving. And that joy has continued as the country is galvanised into taking up sport and following the example of the much-lauded “games makers” to start volunteering in their local communities.

Among the games makers were 500 nurses who volunteered to take care of the public and run primary care services for the athletes during the Games. Well done to them for playing their part and showing the rest of the world just why our healthcare provision is so revered.

Those nurses are not the only ones who have been impressive. The Nursing Times Awards judges and I have spent most of the past few weeks reading the entries for this year’s Awards. Some incredible projects are going head to head in this year’s contest of the best nurses, and what never ceases to amaze me is how far nurses are prepared to go to ensure the health of their patients and their wider communities.

We have read about excellent projects that enhance patients’ experience of primary and acute care, tailoring the provision of treatment to ensure it is patient-centred and safer. But there are also projects that are focused on public health. In these, nurses are identifying those areas of the community that are not accessing the health services available to them, and going out to reach them at times and in ways that are convenient to them.

It would be so easy, against the backdrop of everything difficult that nurses are having to cope with, to just batten down the hatches and not add anything else to their duties.

So it’s incredible to see such innovation being delivered and at such a high level. Look out for the full shortlist online at

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