A message of thanks and support from the Chief Nursing Officers in the UK and the Nursing and Midwifery Council

Published on 06 October 2021

Read our joint message with the UK’s Chief Nursing Officers

As we near the end of 2021, and whilst restrictions are easing and vaccination rates are increasing across the UK, we are still experiencing continued pressures, with the longer term consequences of Covid-19 felt across health and care services.

We know our nursing and midwifery professionals, and their teams, at every level are working incredibly hard, providing the best treatment, care and support possible, often in complex clinical situations and changing circumstances.

We want to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued professionalism and hard work during this period of unrelenting pressure, and to renew the assurances of support we’ve made throughout the pandemic.

As we head into the winter months and face ongoing challenges we all want to acknowledge the difficult decisions you will continue to make every day. We recognise that you may need to work more flexibly, often in unfamiliar and high pressured situations.

We know that this can be difficult, and that in some unprecedented situations you may need to depart from established procedures to care for people. Your professional judgment is really important and we expect your employers to support you in these situations.

Earlier in the year we outlined the importance of working in partnership with people receiving care and your fellow professionals, and using your professional judgement to assess risk, informed by the values and principles set out in NMC professional standards. This remains as important as it ever was.

You may have concerns that your decisions and your practice may be challenged, especially if things should go wrong. We want to reassure you that the NMC will always consider the specific facts of the case, taking into account the factors and context relevant to the environment in which a professional is working.

We also want to reiterate that the NMC Code is here to support you as a valuable tool to help guide practice, supported by the NMC’s latest Caring with Confidence animations.

As we enter the latter stages of 2021, it’s important that you also take care of your own health and wellbeing. There are a range of supporting resources available from your employer, nationally and from the NMC and we have included details at the end of this letter to help you.

Thank you once again for continuing to work so hard to care for so many in these unprecedented times. Your work is making an immeasurable difference to the lives of people across the UK. We want to pay tribute to all of you for your professionalism, innovation and determination.

Regards,

Ruth May, Chief Nursing Officer, England
Professor Charlotte McArdle, Chief Nursing Officer, Northern Ireland
Professor Alex McMahon, Interim Chief Nursing Officer, Scotland
Sue Tranka, Chief Nursing Officer, Wales
Andrea Sutcliffe CBE, Chief Executive and Registrar Nursing and Midwifery Council

Nursing and Midwifery Council

Several organisations have developed resources to support the mental wellbeing of those working in health or social care – we’ve listed some of these on our website.

England

The NHS in England has put in place a wide range of resources for staff available through the NHS website.

Northern Ireland

The HSC in Northern Ireland has put in place a range of initiatives across it’s organisations to support staff wellbeing, the resources are available via the Public Health Agency Website: Staff health and wellbeing | HSC Public Health Agency (hscni.net)

Scotland

Workforce Specialist Service

Wales

There is a multi-layered wellbeing offer for our health and social care workforce in Wales, the suite of resources is available via the Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW) website: Wellbeing resources released for NHS Wales staff - HEIW

Social Care Wales have also developed resources for Social Care workers: Wellbeing Tools for Care Workers in Coronavirus | Social Care Wales


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