Blog: NMC learning and developing

In her latest blog, our Chief Executive, Andrea Sutcliffe, recounts a day spent reflecting and learning with colleagues across the NMC on the importance of what we do

Regular visitors to the NMC website or any of our social media will know we’ve been working hard on developing our strategy for 2020 to 2025. So you won’t be surprised to hear that when we gathered the whole NMC team together last week #futureNMC was a major focus of the day.

We spent time exploring the five strategic themes we consulted on and how the feedback we received will inform the strategy. We also considered how we would deliver these themes by looking at our values and behaviours and what may need to change.

The heart of the day though was understanding the impact and importance of what we do for the professionals on our register and for the people they care for and support.

I’m lucky because I’m out and about and get to meet amazing nurses, midwives and nursing associates, hear their stories and see their incredible work. I also have the privilege of meeting people who they support. But many of my colleagues don’t have that opportunity.

So, aided and abetted by our energetic and engaging host, Ian Donaghy, our programme brought the outside world well and truly into the NMC.

Professional pride

We gathered together a group of registrants to reflect the huge variety of professionals on our register – four countries, different roles, settings and stages of career.

What a treat it was to hear from:

  • Sera Bailey - Bereavement midwife, Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Jed Bates - Nursing associate, North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust
  • Tim Bennett - Mental health nurse, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board
  • Karen Bonner - Divisional Director of Nursing, Chelsea and Westminster NHS Foundation Trust
  • Victoria Cosgrove - Senior charge nurse, NHS Lothian
  • Stacey Finlay - Acting sister, Domnall Intermediate Care Centre, Belfast

We were all inspired by listening to them share their careers, challenges and proudest moments. You’d never have realised some of them were really nervous in front of an audience nearly 800 strong as they all came across so professionally and with such a passion for their work. Their stories were moving and showed the difference they make. It was great to see how important being registered with us is to them.

So much of what they said shines through the stories we are collecting as part of Always Caring, Always Nursing – our celebration of 100 years of nursing regulation. Please take a look.

Better, safer care for all

There was more inspiration and information from the workshops with the public and patient groups. We wanted to reflect the vast diversity of people nurses, midwives and nursing associates support.

I am incredibly grateful to colleagues from:

They shared information about their organisations, personal stories, challenged us to think about how we work with the public and Change People even got colleagues exploring inclusion and exclusion through human sculptures.

Each group brought to life how our work with nurses, nursing associates and midwives ultimately impacts on the lives of every UK citizen.

See the person

In the Think Local Act Personal session, Clenton and Cat shared the standards from Making It Real including this statement:

“I am supported by people who see me as a unique person with strengths and abilities and aspirations.”

That’s what we would want the professionals on our register to do if they were helping us or anyone we love – see the person, not the diagnosis; treat us with dignity and respect whatever our condition.

This message was conveyed through dance and drama in such a powerful way in the afternoon. Dance Syndrome is a charity that is “dancer led, disability inspired” whose mission is to show that “opportunities are endless for people who refuse to be defined by disability”. Jen Blackwell and David Darcy spoiled us with a truly beautiful performance that really did demonstrate this. The spontaneous standing ovation within a nanosecond of them finishing showed how much we all enjoyed it.

Jen Blackwell and David Darcy of Dance Syndrome

#HelloMyNameIs

We’ve talked a lot about being a kind regulator, how we need to treat everyone with dignity and respect – the public we work with, professionals on our register, our partners and each other. The #HelloMyNameIs campaign initiated by the late Dr Kate Granger and her husband Chris Pointon, showed this starts with the simple human connection we make when we say hello and share our name. I met Chris earlier this year and he felt that the NMC adopting #HelloMyNameIs would be influential. Unfortunately he was unable to speak on Wednesday so he recommended the play written by Brian Daniels about his and Kate’s story.

I’d not seen it before and while I know the story well (in fact I remember seeing the very original tweet that sparked the whole thing off) it was something else to see it played out on stage by Marie Fortune and Phil Yarrow. I remain in awe at the way Kate throughout her illness and Chris since her death, campaigned to make the health and care system a more human place. I hope we can play our part in promoting that approach.

Everyone deserves a voice

We were certainly helped on the day by award winning, newly qualified learning disability nurses Alice Waddington and Emily Kavanagh who taught us to say "hello, my name is" in Makaton. Their enthusiasm to make sure everyone has a voice is infectious and yet again another reminder of how fantastic the professionals on our register are.

Staff using Makaton at the 2019 NMC employee conference

NMC making a difference

It was a good day and with such a variety of activities, I hope colleagues found something to take way to inform their own practise. Because days like this are great to enthuse, motivate, learn and reflect – but it only counts if the feelings it generates make a practical difference. I’m sure it will thanks to all the wonderful people who took part.

Thank you.


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