It’s that time of year where most of us start to put our feet up, and wind down for the festive break. Although as nurses and midwives know only too well, the health service doesn’t stop just because the turkey is ready.
On Christmas day as the nation pulls crackers and opens presents, tens of thousands of nurses and midwives will be on duty, caring for the sick and the vulnerable.
”On behalf of the Nursing and Midwifery Council, I want to say how grateful I am”
On behalf of the Nursing and Midwifery Council, I want to say how grateful I am for the tireless work of nursing and midwifery staff over the holiday season. For me, the sight of a nurse or a midwife on a hospital ward on Christmas day epitomises everything that is good about these professions – going above and beyond for those in need.
Of course, once Christmas is behind us the New Year rolls in quickly, and this leads us all to ponder on the year that has been, and what 2016 might hold.
”The health service continues to care for more patients than ever before, and the resources you have to do the job are stretched”
The last 12 months have not been easy for nurses and midwives. The health service continues to care for more patients than ever before, and the resources you have to do the job are stretched. Nurses and midwives have been the glue that has kept the entire health service together and while 2015 might have felt like a very tough year indeed, you should take pride in the fundamental role you have played.
Making predictions in healthcare is always unwise; famously the only predictable thing about the health service is its unpredictability. However, there is one thing that we can be certain of in 2016 – revalidation.
”There is one thing that we can be certain of in 2016 – revalidation”
As all nurses and midwives will hopefully know by now, revalidation will be introduced from April next year. The significance of revalidation can hardly be overstated – it represents the single most important change to how we regulate nurses and nursing and midwifery.
Despite the importance of the changes, revalidation isn’t something that any of us should be afraid of. Early feedback from the pilot programmes has proved that revalidation is not only achievable, but it’s empowering and something that nurses and midwives have found truly beneficial.
Yes, revalidation is an important regulatory requirement, but ultimately it’s also about ensuring that you have the chance to constantly learn, grow and develop.
2016 will undoubtedly be another tough year for the health service, but nurses and midwives can be positive about this unprecedented chance to reflect on their practice. If I had one piece of advice about how to approach the New Year it would be this: make sure you get ready for revalidation. www.nmc.org.uk/revalidation
Jackie Smith, chief executive and registrar, Nursing and Midwifery Council