North West Update

 Estephanie Dunn 17 Nov 2017

It’s been a busy in the North West office with a whole host of meetings and events.

We saw the scrapping of the cap announcement by Jeremy Hunt which is hugely welcome by the RCN however as the saying goes, ‘the devil is very much in the detail’ and we await to hear what the settlement will be. 

Our current campaign phase is ‘Close the Gap’ where we are campaigning for a fair pay settlement. We are encouraging as many of you as possible to meet your MP and tell them the importance of a fair pay settlement in line with inflation.  Your personal stories, and those of your colleagues are really powerful and will help keep this very important message at the top of the political agenda. We can also help you to set up the meeting and will event attend alongside you to support you.  Further details about this phase of the campaign are available on our dedicated web page.   

We had a fantastic event in Liverpool to mark Black History Month and I’m planning on dedicating a future blog to informing you about the progress of the RCN Cultural Ambassador Programme in the region which featured heavily in the programme.  I would like to thank everyone who came along to the event and I’m sure you found it an inspiring and useful networking opportunity. 

Last month’s blog was dedicated to STPs.  Clearly there’s been no to significant progress in the last month however  I did meet with Steve Rotherham (Liverpool City Region Mayor) and Andy Moorhead (Leader of Knowsley Council and portfolio lead for Health and Social Care in the City region) to reinforce the RCN’s position and to reiterate the importance of keeping us in the loop on the plans and key decisions linked to the progress with the Cheshire and Merseyside STP. Whilst these plans are still being developed behind closed doors, reminding the key influencers that we’re here and of the importance of being able to update our members of progress directions of travel, should be a crucial part of their engagement plans.

The plan for the Cheshire and Merseyside Sustainability Programme (STP) was published in November last year and is still at a developmental stage with many changes happening on a local level. The aim and ambition is to create healthier NHS services across Cheshire and Merseyside which need to be suitable for a growing, aging, online population with changing expectations and needs.  Something hard to disagree with.  

It’s also clear there’s a huge dependency on NHS Trusts and Local Authorities working well and making decisions together however, it’s clear there’s still a lot of ground to make up in this area with both organisations working differently to each other.  I was however, enthused by the healthy and strong ambition – which I’m sure is a shared ambition from all parties involved –to improve health inequality across Merseyside.  Let’s just hope the proof is in the pudding and we see investment in our health services through this more integrated approach. Protecting jobs and enhancing opportunities for our nursing and healthcare staff.   

We are starting the see the beginning of these plans come through with the merger of several Trusts, not only in Merseyside but across Greater Manchester too.  Our officers are staying close to these mergers and will be ready to add challenge where required. 

We also plan to have a conference early next year to share knowledge, intelligence and insight into the Cheshire and Merseyside STP which will be advertised via our usual channels. 

Clearly STP plans are set to drive efficiencies and drive change.   Times such as this can be both difficult and stressful and it’s important to look after each other. I was reminded of this at a recent lecture I attended at The University of Central Lancashire.

The Elizabeth Bryan Annual Memorial Lecture was hosted by Vice-Chancellor Mike Thomas.  He drew on his experience and research to provide a thought provoking lecture focusing on kindness and compassion and the challenges faced in leadership roles. Something at the heart of the Elizabeth Bryan Trust’s ethos. It struck me that often kindness and compassion to colleagues is something we often forget when wrapped up in change and is certainly something crucial to the engagement plans surrounding the implementation of STP plans. 

More information about the Elizabeth Bryan Trust, and the development scholarships it offers, is available at:


Estephanie Dunn

Estephanie Dunn

Regional Director, RCN North West

Estephanie Dunn has a lifelong background in nursing, spanning the independent sector and NHS. Prior to becoming Regional Director for the RCN North West Region in August 2014, Estephanie worked as the Operational Manager for the RCN’s Northern Region.


Page last updated - 16/12/2019