Unity is strength

 Geoffrey Walker 22 Feb 2019

One of the actions taken forward following our first meeting of the year in January has been to publish the Council agenda for members in advance and this has been done on the RCN Council meetings webpage and so please have a look. I firmly believe in openness and transparency so I am really pleased that you will now know what is being discussed. 

Our work developing the RCN campaign for safe staffing for safe and effective care campaign has started with a collaborative event which took place in London last week. To find out more you can read the blogs of our members Vicky and Michael who attended on behalf of all of us in the South West here.

You will have been invited to our regional event which takes place in Taunton on Thursday 21 March to participate in the regional plan for the campaign. There will be other opportunities to get involved and you will hear much more about this work in the coming year. If you have not received an email invitation to the South West event please check your details are correct at MyRCN.

On Tuesday this week I chaired the branch meeting for RCN Dorset which was well attended and included lively debate. I like that our branch meetings are not just for giving information out but they are a safe environment for our members to voice their opinions and concerns on a wide variety of issues. I would encourage any member to attend their branch meetings and get involved. At the Dorset meeting this week we welcomed members from the NHS, private and third sectors; registered and unregistered, all of whom deserve equally to have their voice heard.

We are planning to put on a branch training day in November and asked the members what they would like it to be on. As a result of this feedback we are looking at the themes of caring for each other, inequity, bullying and equality. Kindness was a key thread of the meeting and that we need to be supportive of each other. Kindness is a key quality. So often members felt that they were not listened to in their workplaces and that if outspoken they could be subject to bullying.  

I am particularly interested in stopping this divisive practice of bullying that seems to be rife in some areas. Bullying causes misery, can destroy people’s lives and is never justifiable. The RCN is here to help you, so if you do have any issues, don’t suffer alone, please contact us. Experience has taught me that you are stronger than you think and with support you can prevail over bullies. So don’t tolerate it, I know easier said than done, but it is much easier to tackle with support. Remember, you are not alone and unity is strength.

At the meeting we also, like all branches in the region, discussed RCN Congress and allocated voting members to attend from Dorset. This year RCN Congress takes place in Liverpool. It is a fantastic event and I would recommend any member to attend. It really is an amazing showcase for the RCN and its membership.

Please go to the RCN South West Facebook page or branch webpages to find your nearest branch and do get involved with the RCN locally. I am hoping to visit all the branches in the region this year so hope to meet you in the future at your local meetings.

I would be really interested to hear from you if you have anything to celebrate or discuss so I can put it in my blog or tweet it. I am a registered nurse working in the acute sector so I would particularly love to hear from you if you work in the private sector, third sector and community. I’d also love to hear from our students, health care practitioners, associate practitioners and nursing associates. I’d really like to know what is important to you so if you have anything you’d like to raise please let the regional office know via our Communications Manager, Tracey Roberts, at tracey.roberts@rcn.org.uk and she will forward to me.

Please do make contact, you can follow me on Twitter @gwalkerpoole1 and I now have a RCN South West Council member Facebook page which you can follow.


Geoffrey Walker, Chair of RCN Dorset Branch

Geoffrey Walker

RCN Council member for the South West and Chair of the RCN Dorset branch


Geoffrey trained at the West Cumberland hospital before heading south to Poole.

He is currently a matron at Poole Hospital and has been for 14 years. He has a large remit with over 500 staff and more than 22 departments.

He has been an RCN member for 30 years and is also an active steward within his trust.

Page last updated - 22/02/2019