As always I was extremely proud to see some of the region’s nurses were recognised in the new year’s honours – Congratulations to Bolton Foundation Trust’s Trish Armstrong-Childs and Sue Smith of Morecombe Bay University Hospitals Trust who were two senior nurses receiving honours in our region.
As well as the campaigning we’ve done together, the region has been very busy. We’ve held 150 professional events across venues and workplaces throughout the region providing over 170 valuable CPD hours. Specific highlights for me were the unveiling of a Blue Plaque, our Black History Month event and our Regional Conference.
Following a request from the Lancashire branch we introduced a new seminar: Understanding Inquests and held Mock NMC events. These proved extremely popular and sold out overnight. Due to their popularity we’re holding more throughout this year so keep an eye on our social media and website page to see when they’re happening.
Looking back over the year, yes we must acknowledge that we have faced a few challenges resulting in RCN Council stepping down and a new Council being formed. We have also seen changes in the RCN senior team. We now move into a new year positively and much energy for making further strides.
In terms of NW posts, Dave Dawes was re-elected to sit on RCN Council representing the North West and I welcome new North West Board members, Kristine Nichol (student member), Carmel O’Boyle (representing GLK branch), Lorraine Glover (representing Greater Manchester branch) and Stephen Watson (representing Cheshire branch). Thanks also to our departing Board Members who have fulfilled their term of office and have helped us achieve such great results.
The good news is that we haven’t stopped doing what we do best and supporting you when you need us most. Our service has continued in the region and we’ve assisted nearly 2000 members with workplace issues and queries this year. It is with special thanks to our reps within the workplace that we can offer such a comprehensive service for our members and are able to help and support so many in the region.
Our campaigning has also continued with the launch of a national campaign at the end of last year to support students - #FundOurFuture. Nationally this is being led by the RCN Student Committee and aims to secure a better deal for those considering studying nursing in place of the bursary.
We had three fantastic student advocates from the region go to Parliament in November to lobby MPs leaving with a firm commitment from Health Minister Matt Hancock.
Our next big national campaign this year will be safe staffing which will be launching very soon. This is a really important campaign for the RCN and aims to secure a happy, healthy and safe nursing workforce with the right and effective skill mix. I will write to you with more details about this campaign soon and how you can get involved.
Finally, it goes without saying that the festive period and New Year, can sometimes be a difficult time and the RCN is here to support you in a number of ways, especially if you need someone to talk to about your experience at work, finances, mental health and anything else affecting you. Call RCN Direct on 0345 772 6100 for details. Our Counselling services are all confidential and anonymous.
We are pleased to be one of the largest regions in the RCN with around 50,000 members and we are really excited to work with you, and for you, in the year ahead. As always check our website for the latest events and news www.rcn.org.uk/northwest and follow us on social media facebook.com/RCNNorthWest and on Twitter @RCNNorthWest