Let's take the learning from this pandemic to stay closer together as one workforce, continuing the legacy of being the most trusted profession in the world, caring for people at the beginning, throughout and at the end of their lives.

Michelle Carrington, Director of Nursing / Quality Lead, Humber, Coast and Vale Health and Care Partnership

Nursing staff across Humber, Coast and Vale have shown continued hard work and perseverance throughout the pandemic. Today (Wednesday 12th May) is International Nurses Day, and to celebrate the hard work of all our nurses, and to recognise their incredible efforts, the Communications team spoke to Michelle Carrington, Director of Nursing / Quality Lead, Humber, Coast and Vale Health and Care Partnership.

Q. The theme for this year’s International Nurses Day is A Voice to Lead – A vision for future healthcare. What does this mean to you personally, as Executive Director for Quality and Nursing, and how can the wider nursing community be more involved in innovations in nursing to help shape the future of healthcare?

A. Personally this means all nurses showing professional individual and collective leadership to ensure the voice of the patient is heard, this is an area where nurses are really strong. We are the largest workforce in the NHS so there is real strength in numbers.

The future for healthcare is a future for health and care, working collaboratively and in an integrated way, to ensure care is seamless, reduces duplication and using our collective strengths on behalf people who live in our communities.

The move further towards a population health management approach means for nurses in particular how we come together as a body of professionals to shift the culture to truly reduce inequalities for people, exacerbated even more by the pandemic.

Q. Nurses have worked through unprecedented times over the past year. How is the health and wellbeing of nursing staff locally being supported, and what has this meant in terms of developing personal resilience and the role of the region’s staff reliance hub?

A. The resilience of staff has been tested in ways we have never seen before and I am proud to have been part of a wider workforce who have come together to respond to the pandemic.

This has inevitably taken its toll. Nurses have worked extraordinary hours, in roles they haven’t worked in before, have been ill themselves and some have sadly lost patients and loved ones. We are strong but we are tired.

I would encourage us all to access the vast amount of support available, including our staff resilience hub, in ways which suits us best as individuals and be kind to one another.

Q. What are some of your reflections since you have been in post as Interim Director of Nursing / Quality Lead for the HCV Partnership?

A. I would say that I learn something new every day, even though I have been a nurse since 1986!

Structures, programs of work, strategies, services, people, all striving to put patients at the heart of what they do while looking for ways which improve health outcomes for people.

I see a movement towards a real ambition to reduce health inequalities in ways we haven’t done before and a really strong sense of partnership working.

As I look back over the last year I have never been more proud to be a nurse and I particularly want to acknowledge nurses who work in the areas that don’t always get too much recognition and attention – nurses who work in social care, in public health, in primary care, and those who have come out of retirement to help with the pandemic response – I see you and you are amazing.

Let’s take the learning from this pandemic to stay closer together as one workforce, continuing the legacy of being the most trusted profession in the world, caring for people at the beginning, throughout and at the end of their lives.

Rebecca Hassack

Author Rebecca Hassack

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