You are doing amazing work in incredibly difficult circumstances and Londoner’s are so grateful for your dedication and hard work to keep them safe. While you support Londoners, the RCN London team and I are here for you.
In the capital we know that is hard out there, and that in terms of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are weeks ahead of other parts of the country. Many of you have been asked to work differently and have been redeployed to other areas. I know this is challenging and that it’s demanding more of you. I know, you will rise to the challenge. This is how nursing staff are made.
The Government unveiled new plans this week to open the NHS Nightingale Hospital in the Excel Centre in East London as a response to the increased demand due to COVID-19. Many of you will be asked to support. To help you, we’ve published some guidance to make the transition easier. Remember, we are here to help you.
Over the last few days, you have been telling us what’s happening on the ground. We’re listening and acting on your behalf:
- This week: RCN Chief Executive and General Secretary Donna Kinnair wrote to the Prime Minister to demand he resolve the issues on access to PPE and staff testing for COVID-19. We’re continuing to push on this.
- We asked all London Trusts to waive hospital parking fees for nursing staff. Government agreed and we hope this is now in place for all of you.
We want to know what more we can do to support you and what would make your life a little bit easier at this unprecedented time. Many of you are telling us that you are struggling to get access to essential food. We’re working with employers and the Mayor to try to resolve this.
Finally, I cannot emphasise enough how important self-care is, especially at a time like this. I appreciate you may not have much time outside of work and other responsibilities, but to use a cliché, you can’t pour from an empty cup. You may have your own resources, here are some others if you need them.
In case you need reminding, you are all heroes.