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Seasonal message from the Regional Director

Glenn Turp 21 Dec 2020

Read Glenn Turp's seasonal message to members in Yorkshire and Humber and Northern regions. 

You’ll know much more than most just how challenging the year has been. Health and social care providers, the NHS and the independent sector have struggled trying to deal with COVID and its impact, as well as winter pressures. Trusts and providers across the region and up and down the country have been at tipping point, with patient demand never so high. Yet we know that there are significant nursing vacancies and far fewer nursing and social care staff than needed. 

Nursing staff have been under tremendous pressure. While battling with the impact of COVID in your own life and keeping your family safe, you have continued to provide care. Around the clock, every day of the year you have been at the forefront of the struggle against the pandemic. From the acute and primary care sectors to the community, social care and mental health settings, nursing staff have been there for the patients.  

Sadly, during the last year over 100 members of the nursing profession in the UK and over 1,500 around the world have died due to this terrible virus. We must never forget them nor the loved ones they leave behind.

The devastating effect of the pandemic will carry on into 2021 until hopefully the new vaccines finally bring it under control. Yet again, nursing staff will be crucial in the rollout of the vaccine, building public confidence in the immunisation programme and bringing people hope. 

So I simply want to say an enormous thank you to one and all for your bravery, determination, hard work and above all the care you give.

If I were granted a Christmas wish, it would be that the government rewards those who have kept the country going through the pandemic. It is high time that the professionalism, skill and experience of nursing staff is properly recognised with a 12.5% pay award and that the government makes and keeps a concrete commitment to resolve the staffing crisis once and for all.

Please do try to look after yourself over the Christmas period. If you do manage to take a break or if you’re working, then I hope you enjoy some festivities and join us all in looking forward to a healthy start to 2021.  

If you need support from the RCN over the holidays, you can rest assured that our helplines are covered from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm every day of the year and you can speak to one of our trained advisers on 0345 772 6100. Alternatively, take a look at our comprehensive advice guides on our Get Help and Advice webpages.

Stay safe and well,

Glenn Turp

Glenn Turp

Regional Director

Yorkshire and the Humber and Northern regions

Glenn qualified as a nurse in 1983 and spent most of his nursing career in acute nursing before working in NHS management with the Leeds Health Authority and Leeds Teaching Hospitals. He began working for the RCN in 1994.

Page last updated - 18/05/2022