Celebrating our nurses on International Nurses Day

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TODAY marks International Nurses Day and the NHS in Surrey are taking the opportunity to celebrate the incredible contribution made by nurses to the health service.

International Nurses Day arrives on May 12 each year to coincide with the birthday of founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale. And ever since her pioneering work in the 19th century nurses have been one of the cornerstones of any health service across the world.

The NHS in Surrey will be taking part in various activities to show our appreciation for the remarkable work that nurses do in the health service, from community nursing to the vital role they play in the emergency department at the hospital – and everything in between.

Across Surrey Heartlands we will be thanking our nurses and encouraging them to join us in celebrating the day. Across the local area, there are a variety of events and activities planned as part of the celebrations including:

• At the Royal Surrey Country Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Lord-Lieutenant of Surrey, Michael More-Molyneux, will be making an appearance to cut the ribbon on a permenant display featuring names of all the nurses and midwives who have received Chief Nursing Officer for England and Chief Midwifery Officer Awards. He will then be visiting some of the nursing and midwifery staff on wards and in departments to offer thanks and hand out cards and cake.

• At Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals nurses will be repaid for all their hard work by senior members of staff at the hospital serving breakfast to nurses as they begin their shift as a nice role reversal for all the care and attention they provide for patients throughout the year.

• The South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust will be paying tribute to the 125 nurses it employs on its social media channels and thanking staff individually. The Trust will also be hosting a session for its nurses with speakers to thank them for their dedication.

• Ashford and St Peters Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust celebrated their Pride in Nursing and Midwifery day on 6 May Chaired by Joanne Bosanquet MBE, CEO Foundation of Nursing Studies. Guest speakers included Deputy Lord Lietenant for Runnymede, Neelam Devesher, Patricia Marquis, RCN Director for England and Sue Tranka, Chief Nursing Officer for Wales. The day proved to be an uplifting and energising day and provided an opportunity to celebrate what we have achieved over the last year, as well as looking forward to a bright future.

• Senior Leaders from Surrey First Community Health and Care will be visiting their sites to deliver treats to staff and to say thank you. They will have a range of videos to share on social media from nurses.

• Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust will be formally opening two new training rooms specifically to support their nurses with career development and to advance their practice. As part of a range of activities on the day, the Trust will be providing nurses with refreshments and a range of information and support to boost their wellbeing.

Clare Stone, Surrey Heartlands ICS Director of Multi-Professional Leadership and Chief Nursing Officer, said:

“The last two years have been tough on us all, especially our frontline staff, and that is why it is so important to recognise the tireless work carried out by our nurses in Surrey, who have continued to provide exceptional care throughout the pandemic, often working in challenging circumstances, right across health and social care – in community, mental health, hospital, continuing healthcare, social care and so many different areas – to care for patients and support their families.

“As well as recognising the incredible contribution our nurses make, and showing our appreciation, this International Nurses Day we also want to focus on looking after our nurses. Always putting patients and others first, we will be encouraging our nurses to take time to think about their own health and wellbeing, especially after what has been an unprecedented time for health and care services when our nurses have shown such dedication and contributed so much.”

There will be an online campaign to mark International Nurses Day so you can show your appreciation for all the high-quality care and hard work that nurses provide to the health service in surrey with the hashtag #IND2022.