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Celebrating the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife

Professor Sally Shearer OBE
28 December 2020

One year ago there was great excitement in the nursing family as we approached the first global International Year of the Nurse and Midwife, in recognition of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale. This presented the perfect opportunity to celebrate the enormous range of skills, commitment and expert clinical care that nurses bring, together with the impact that they have on so many lives.

Walking around the Trust this week I have absolutely seen that impact, with nurses at the side of families who are going through incredibly challenging times.

One year later every single Sheffield Children’s colleague can reflect with pride on the enormous contribution they have made to our collective response to a global pandemic. For Sheffield Children’s nurses, we look back not on the celebrations that we had planned, but on a year where our skills, commitment and expert clinical care have been tested beyond a level we ever imagined.

Thank you to all our fabulous nurses who adapted to the challenges in so many ways. The summary below is not exhaustive but includes;

  • Four members of the nursing family who prepared to support the opening of Nightingale Harrogate.
  • Our amazing PPE safety officers who have put down their day jobs to support colleagues across all sites to adapt to significant changes in the way we work. 
  • Working with colleagues from all staff groups to support the care of over 200 children and young people as part of the South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw emergency surgery pathway.
  • 100 of our specialist and non front line nurses who underwent an education programme to enable us to double our PICU capacity if we needed to.
  • 32 third year student nurses from Sheffield Hallam and Huddersfield Universities who made history through an unprecedented change in the national Nursing and Midwifery Order,  allowing them to join our paid workforce.
  • Our amazing 0-19 team who spearheaded the establishment of our COVID testing service for colleagues and their families working in Sheffield health and social care roles. The programme was recognised in the Health Service Journal national awards as a finalist for System Leadership Initiative of the Year. Now supported by acute site nurses, we cannot imagine life without a testing hub!
  • Members of our six Shared Decision Making Councils whose passion and perseverance are improving staff and patient experience, as well as moving us closer to our aspiration our Pathway to Excellence® accreditation.
  • The huge strides we have made in improving the experience of children and young people with learning disabilities and mental health needs across all of our sites.

In amongst a wealth of inspiring individual and team achievements our 980 Registered Nurses and our non registered nurses there will be many other stories of nurses making a difference to the lives of children, young people and their families. As we move into 2021 we are incredibly proud to have partnered with The DAISY (Diseases Attacking the Immune System) Foundation, an international recognition programme that honours and celebrates the skilful and compassionate care nurses and midwives provide every day. Nominations are in for our first presentation and we are excited to open the new year with this exciting event.  

Allied Health Professionals

We are also excited to move into 2021 with plans to develop our Allied Health Profession voice across the Trust! Increasingly NHS providers are recognising the huge contribution the 14 professions that make up ‘AHP’ hold in the delivery of compassionate, high quality patient care, and equally how important it is that they contribute to the leadership of the Trust.

We were delighted to welcome Dr Jo Fillingham, Deputy Chief AHP Officer at NHS England / Improvement to the Clinical Summit on 14th October, which was also National AHP Day! Jo challenged our AHPs to write a paper to outline next steps towards making this happen. We are looking forward to seeing their proposals!

It was also fantastic to receive Continuing Professional Development funding for every Registered Nurse and AHP in the Trust this summer. This represents a real opportunity to develop those closest to the bedside which makes Sheffield Children’s a Brilliant Place to Work, whilst delivering Outstanding Patient Care.

Finally in 2020, in my 40th NHS Year as well as International Year of the Nurse I was immensely proud to receive an OBE for services to nursing in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. Words cannot describe how I felt receiving this award, in such a special year, as Director of Nursing in the amazing Sheffield Children’s! Thank you all for what collectively we have achieved, you are all amazing!

Professor Sally Shearer OBE
Executive Director of Nursing and Quality 

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