Blog: Minute’s silence

Published on 28 April 2020

A message from Andrea on the national minutes silence.

Together with my colleagues across the NMC this morning, I will stand in silence at 11am to remember and honour all the health and social care workers who have lost their lives to coronavirus.

It will be poignant and powerful and I’m grateful to the Royal College of Nursing, the Royal College of Midwives and Unison for their initiative in calling for this minute of national reflection on International Worker’s Memorial Day. We have been observing our own silence each week at the NMC since the first deaths of nurses were reported and know how important this moment is.

I am deeply saddened by the death of each and every member of the health and social care community as a result of Covid19.  As the Registrar for nurses, midwives and nursing associates in the UK, I feel a pang of pain every time I learn that one of our registrants has died from this terrible virus.  Reading about their lives and careers and the tributes from their families, friends and colleagues brings home how much we have lost and has led, I’m not ashamed to say, to tears. 

Tragically, the numbers of our registrants dying are rising fast and I’m indebted to the small team at Nursing Notes for keeping a digital record of those we have lost. The disproportionate representation of people from Black Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds has highlighted just how much the NHS and social care relies so heavily on women and men from these communities.  It is terrible they are paying such a high price.

Our tribute in silence today is as important as the noisy cheering for the NHS, social care and key workers on a Thursday evening.  I know this enthusiasm for them has meant a lot to nurses, midwives and nursing associates and their colleagues who feel the love we’ve all shared for their amazing efforts in responding to the crisis in such difficult circumstances.

Today will mean so much too.  Standing in solidarity with all those who have lost their lives; recognising their sacrifice; and sending sympathy to the ones they have left behind. 

We will hold them in our hearts and we will remember them.

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