Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

EDITOR’S COMMENT

'Recognise crucial role nurses play in the NHS'

  • 2 Comments

The Nursing Times Awards once again inspired and delighted.

The room erupted into a standing ovation for Nurse of the Year Lorraine Burgess, a Macmillan nurse, from The Christie Foundation Trust. There were gasps as Chief Nursing Officers’ Lifetime Achievement Award winner Professor Donna Mead OBE recounted how, after achieving nine O levels, she told her teacher she wanted to be a nurse and the teacher said “I wash my hands of you” because going into nursing was “a waste”. And there were appreciative nods when Professor Jean White, CNO for Wales, spoke of a nurse in rural Wales who found out women got most of their health advice from their hairdresser - so the nurse arranged a health training programme for hairdressers. That sort of innovation, dedication and unrelenting passion for nursing warmed the hearts of everyone in the room.

At the end of the night, someone cried when they recounted to me how the evening had made them feel. Such is the power of nursing. And yet, that power is taken for granted.

I called for the blanket 1% pay rise in my speech that night, and Gail Adams, head of nursing at Unison, echoed my thoughts when she presented the Team of the Year award to George Eliot Hospital with her co-sponsor Ruth Warden from NHS Employers. Gail took a selfie on stage with the room full of nurses and said she would tweet it to the health secretary to urge him to reconsider his pay decision.

Will he take notice? It seems unlikely, but one could hope. It seems ridiculous anyone witnessing the energy, compassion and skills of over 1,000 nurses in the room, would deny them all a 1% pay rise

Also it seems ridiculous that he can see the tangible difference nurses make to services, saving money and lives, and yet you continue to cut their numbers. Our news story on the latest fi gures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre show nursing numbers in acute trusts have fallen for the second month in a row (see page 2). Trusts are fi nding it a challenge to recruit more nurses, maybe because of poor workforce planning, or maybe because it proves so diffi cult to retain your workforce in these circumstances.

Jeremy Hunt should recognise if he wants the safe care he keeps claiming to advocate, it needs investment. And there is no better place to invest than in the team that makes sure the NHS is safe. The Nursing Times Awards proves that. Why can’t he look at that evidence base and decide his return on investment in this area would be well worth it?

 

Jenni Middleton, editor

jenni.middleton@emap.com. Follow me on Twitter @nursingtimesed

  • 2 Comments

Readers' comments (2)

  • mr hunt needs to be reminded of this instead of keep bashing us

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Jenni, You are so right in all you say. I am about to launch as a Champion for Nurses after coaching the public for a decade I find it difficult to stand back and say nothing about how you are treated. @coachingonline will soon be there for you and having a say on your behalf full time.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.

Related Jobs