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International Nurses Day - Letter from Lenny Byrne, Chief Nurse & Director of Integrated Clinical Professions

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Dear Colleagues,

May 12th, is a day every year, which is filled with happiness and festivities as we celebrate nurses’ day and showcase our contribution to healthcare. As it approaches this year, I wanted to take some time to reflect and to say thank you, once again, for all you have done and for everything we have achieved together over the last three months. When I say ‘we’, I mean all of us together and not just nurses, but all of those we work with. Whilst we create the largest part of the workforce and offer a huge contribution to care, we cannot achieve our goals without the support of the other wider teams we too are part of. The power of what we can achieve is truly evident when we all work together towards a common goal in caring for patients. Thank you all for your engagement, professionalism, courage, dedication and caring in managing the challenges that Covid-19 has brought for us so far in 2020.

It is ironic to think that it was The World Health Organisation who declared 2020 International Year of the Nurse and Midwife, not knowing at the time it did, just what challenges the professions would face during that year and what we would need to do to offer the contribution necessary to support and deliver patient care in a way that we have never done before. If ever there was a time for the professions to know their value, it is now, during these unprecedented times, which have affected us all in so many ways, both professionally and personally.

We have been through a lot in recent months, but it feels like things are calming down for now. It might be time to take a break, to relax, to reflect or to re-energise. It might feel that May 12th this year, is the obvious time for celebrating, yet, it doesn’t feel entirely appropriate to do so in the usual way.

This year, we will honour our contribution through quiet reflection and share this opportunity with all colleagues. We will take the time to stop and think about where we have been, what we have achieved and how these times will make us stronger and more resilient for the future. May 12th 2020, this year’s Nurses’ Day, should be a time for showing mutual respect, professional admiration and organisational pride in an understated, yet powerful way.

We also acknowledge the huge contribution healthcare professionals have made to all those affected by today’s biggest healthcare challenge, while respecting the fact that it has been a stressful, difficult and challenging time for everyone, where lives have been changed or lost and loved ones have been unable to be near at the most difficult times.

2020 was planned to be an entire year of celebrations for the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife. Let’s aim to ensure we have something to celebrate and look forward to later in the year before it ends, but once we have delivered on the challenges we currently face.  Let’s share those celebrations with all of our colleagues and offer it as an opportunity to truly celebrate the work we do together and the difference we make to peoples’ lives every day.

On May 12th 2020, I am proud to be Chief Nurse and Director of Integrated Professions at UHPT and I am proud of all of you. I am thankful for your support and engagement and for everything you have done and will continue to do to support patients and their families now and in the months to come.

Thank you once again

Yours Sincerely

Lenny Byrne

Lenny Byrne RN DPSN BSc (Hons) MA (Dist)

Chief Nursing Officer 




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