Thank you to our nurses on International Nurses Day

Today (12 May) is International Nurses Day and we would like to say a big Thank You to all nurses out there - for their dedication, commitment and care.

The last year has been tough for all and our nurses have - and contninue to do - an amazing job. The theme for this year is  'Nurses: A Voice to Lead - A vision for future healthcare'. While today is a time to look back and reflect, it is also about looking into the future.

Our Director of Nursing and Quality for Hertfordshire and West Essex Integrated Care System, Jane Kinniburgh, has shared her thanks to nursing colleagues:

"On International Nurses Day (12 May) we would want to particularly acknowledge and thank the immense effort and contribution made by all of our Nursing Teams across the ICS including our GP Nurses in primary care who went above and beyond to support the response to the pandemic, from  standing up to fill ICC roles to deployment across our health organisations, all deserve a mention, gratitude and acknowledgement.

In particular, huge thanks to our Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) Team and our many staff supporting care homes who stood apart with their commitment to provide their expertise with training, advice and guidance in a drive to achieve COVID free environments across all settings. Their immense work included interpretation and provision of guidance, numerous meetings with little notice, support to teams to achieve compliance during outbreaks, monitoring of IPC process, PPE guidance, policies, and consultation.

Their support to primary care was key to maintain care of patients within the community through education of GPs, Nurse Practitioners, Allied Health Professionals.

This was equally matched by nurses working in partnership with colleagues from the Local Authorities to achieve a safe environments for staff, patients, and residents in care homes across Hertfordshire and west Essex, with regular monitoring education/ training, guidance, donning and doffing webinars, visits as required.

A real team effort by nursing staff from every part of the system ensured on-going oversight and a focus on continuing to respond to the needs of patients during the COVID pandemic.

Nursing staff also volunteered to become vaccinators, helped in the mobilisationan and setting up of hot – hubs in general practice and subsequently worked to assure the on-going effectiveness of primary care vaccination centres.

Nursing leadership in working to keep survivors of domestic abuse safe by providing opportunities at testing and vaccination centres for people to have opportunity to seek help and education for staff within primary care.

Nurses within the Continuing Healthcare teams were re-deployed to support the community services providers and acute trusts and have worked hard to change and adapt how they work to carry out the deferred assessment process in addition to existing priorities and other aspects of the local COVID response.

Nurses deployed to frontline work wearing PPE, to support colleagues to care for extremely ill patients in Intensive Care Units. Many gave of their own time, effort selflessly, learning new competencies, at times self- isolating to protect their own families and loved ones. Emotionally many experienced sadness, exhaustion, frustration faced with increasing numbers of patients who died from COVID, however continued to care for relatives, to help them to communicate with their loved ones to say a final goodbye, kindly supported colleagues to get through a shift and return the  next day and continued  to demonstrate Commitment, Compassion and Courage.

A huge thank you to all."