Blog: Twelve days of an NMC Christmas

Published on 22 December 2020

Andrea Sutcliffe reflects on the past year and the virtual world of the NMC

What a year 2020 has been!

We started with the prospect of celebrating the amazing work of our nursing and midwifery professionals in the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife. Covid-19 swept aside those plans and placed nurses, midwives and nursing associates at the heart of the UK response to the global pandemic. Their work has certainly been celebrated, but not quite in the way we envisaged.

Thank you to all our registrants and their colleagues in health and social care for your dedication and commitment throughout the year. We also remember with sadness those who lost their lives to Covid-19 – public and professionals alike have not escaped the impact of this terrible disease.

As the year hurtles to a close, we can look back on a year of achievement in the face of such adversity. Colleagues at the NMC are not on the frontline but have been working hard behind the scenes to support our professionals and maintain our role in protecting the public.

Last week at our last internal webinar we used the festive rhyme to share our 2020 highlights, and here they are:

  • On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me

    One temporary register established at break neck speed so thousands of professionals were available to work in the pandemic response.

  • On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me

    Two education stages pre and post registration with the launch of the new Future Midwife standards; implementation and programme approvals for Future Nurse; and an extensive pre-consultation engagement and development of new post registration standards.

  • On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me
    Three staff networks for disability, LGBT+ and Black and minority ethnic staff and allies theyve challenged us, provided mutual support and helped us to celebrate the diversity of our organisation.

  • On the four day of Christmas, my true love gave to me

    Four UK countries – our work with England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland has been such a key feature of the year, responding to different circumstances, policy approaches and specific challenges.

  • On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me

    Five gold stars of kindness in April we launched our new values to be fair, kind, ambitious and collaborative.  All are important, but the value of kindness (and of course it goes without saying we’ve more to do to make sure we're consistently demonstrating this across all of our ways of working) has been critical to sustaining our relationships with each other, particularly when people have been struggling.

  • On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me

    Six new directorates we agonised about whether restructuring the organisation in April was the right thing to do given the circumstances, but it’s really helped us focus our efforts and break down silo working. It also meant we could welcome our wonderful new colleague Francesca Okosi to lead the People and Organisational Effectiveness directorate.

  • On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me

    Seven ways to influence – our new strategy for 2020-2025 is clear that if we regulate well and do that in a supportive way for the public and professionals, then we can use our insight to influence the health and care system to improve. Throughout the year we've spoken up about key issues like Black Lives Matter; published research, notably Ambitious for Change; analysed our registration data; and responded to consultations.

  • On the eighth day of Christmas, my true love gave to mePicture2.png

    Eight new colleagues a bit of poetic licence here as we actually welcomed nearly 180 new colleagues. It must be weird joining an organisation in lockdown but when I meet them, I'm so impressed by their enthusiasm and commitment for what we do and our values. And while we're lucky that we're part of a sector that can continue with recruitment, I have to say that my heart goes out to those people, and their loved ones, who have sadly lost their job because of the coronavirus pandemic.

  • On the ninth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me

    Nine happy customers well hopefully a lot more, but we also know we benefit from complaints that are raised with us so we can reflect on where we can do better and take meaningful action to improve.

  • On the tenth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me

    Ten x 170 virtual hearings – and we could not have done what we have without the technology to back us up. It's tough, takes longer and can be incredibly intense but aspects of our coronavirus world will be a feature of the future.

  • On the eleventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me

    Picture3.jpgEleven communication highlights our popular coronavirus hub; supporting our
    engagement with partners; helping to launch Future Midwife; creating our Caring with Confidence campaign; and so much more.

  • On the twelth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me

    Twelve Council members who hold me and my team to account to make sure we're delivering on the strategy and the objectives we've agreed. We've said farewell to four longstanding members and welcomed four new; and appointed two new associates and a designate member for Scotland. Sadly we've said farewell to our chair Philip Graf who is stepping down due to illness.

That's a lot and there's loads I've missed out but I hope it gives you a flavour of what's been happening in the virtual NMC world of 2020.

Not everything has gone smoothly the impact of the pandemic has increased our fitness to practise caseload and delayed some other plans we had. Covid-19 continues to wreak havoc in people's lives, though the roll-out of the vaccine offers future promise. There'll be a lot to do in 2021.

With my best wishes to you and those you love for the festive season and for a brighter New Year.

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