A time of sacrifice but great pride

 Dave Dawes 22 Jun 2020

I grow increasingly proud of the regions’ nursing family in how you continue to tackle and respond to the ongoing pandemic. Each sector has had its challenges and I’m acutely aware of how much lobbying the RCN has been doing on your behalf to improve the situation around PPE, the Immigration Health Surcharge and for appropriate working rights for agency workers, students and those in private settings such as care homes.

Due to the ongoing situation, events at the RCN have been cancelled until at least the end of this year.  This sadly includes Congress 2020 which was due to take place at the start of this month.  The Greater Liverpool and Knowsley (GLK) branch decided to run their own virtual version of the event which was fantastic to be part of.  You can still access many of the videos and I would highly recommend them!

Anyone who was organised enough to book accommodation and travel for Congress 2020 should also be aware that there is a compensation programme in place. Details are available here. Plans to hold the RCN’s AGM virtually are coming together and I’m sure the details of how to view this should be available soon. 

Talking of virtual meetings, we held our first virtual branch meetings recently in the GLK and Cheshire West branches.  There are clear disadvantages to being unable to hold such meetings face-to-face, however there are also a great many positives.  We are hoping to improve the quality and accessibility of branch meetings over the coming months, drawing upon the lessons already learnt. 

From an RCN Council point of view, at our last meeting the Centre for Public Scrutiny presented the findings of the independent governance review to Council.  This has now been published on the RCN website and I encourage you to either feedback to me directly via the region, or through the mechanisms outlined in the report.  This is a member-led organisation and your feedback is vital to directing how it operates.

I also want to highlight that for those of you interested in becoming more involved in the governance of the organisation, the region will be recruiting six positions on the NW Regional Board in the coming weeks.  If you don’t want to stand, it’s important that you vote in the election and recruit the person who most likely represents you and your views. Details on how to take part and of how to vote will be emailed to you directly. 

Whilst the RCN NW office remains closed, plans are coming together to allow staff to return safely. The regional team has continued to work for you throughout via a virtual arrangement.  Whilst this might not affect many of you directly, having office-based staff and the ability to physically come to your workplace to support you clearly has advantages. 

The coming months will, I’m sure, present us with more challenges but I do hope you take advantage of all the support the RCN has in place, in the form of both the guidance on the website through to the physical and emotional support services on offer as part of your membership. 

Keep safe and keep well.

Dave Dawes

Dave Dawes

RCN North West Regional Board Chair and RCN Council member

Dave has over 25 years' experience in hospital and community care in both the NHS and in the independent sector. He has been an accredited RCN steward since 1992 and first became a member of the RCN North West Board in 2002. From 2003 to 2005 Dave served on the RCN Agenda Committee, and he is public relations officer for his local branch. He is a visiting lecturer at the Liverpool John Moores University and he is Director of Community Health Innovation in Manchester.

Page last updated - 22/06/2020