A busy week celebrating diversity in nursing

 Nicky Hughes 26 Jun 2020

Working in PPE in the hot weather, Windrush Day, Pride and Care Home Open Day.

This week I have reverted to wearing shorts – something I would never do in work normally, but the benefit of working via video conference is that everyone else can only see my top half!

On a serious note though, I have been very concerned about all our frontline workers who are having to work in this heat whilst wearing PPE. Please do look after yourselves and take a look at the RCN’s information for nursing staff and employers about reducing the risk of heat stress.

It has been a busy week with campaigns such as Windrush Day, the start of Pride month and the Care Home Open Day.

On Monday the RCN held a video conference celebrating Windrush Day. The speakers were inspirational and informative and brought to life the dedication and commitment of those coming over to Britain after the war to help rebuild the country. We had a very powerful talk from an ex-nurse who came over to train and had a long career in the NHS. It was saddening though to hear about how, along with her peers, she was not always treated with respect and dignity. The presentation was provided by Why Are West Indians in this Country?

This week we have celebrated Pride. Pride says: “The Pride Month, celebrated every year in the month of June is a constant reminder of the discrimination faced by the gay community and the need to raise voice against it. For every member of the gay community, the Pride Month symbolizes hope, courage, strength and the need to keep their struggle for equality alive”.

Nursing is a diverse profession that welcomes inclusivity and the unique contribution that every individual makes. RCN Wales always has a strong voice and participates in the Pride celebration events across Wales. We will keep you informed of virtual events taking place over the coming months and further information about pride events can be found at www.pride-events.co.uk

Other ways you can get involved in Pride include:

  • Be an LGBTQ+ ally – see the RCN Proud page for details
  • Sign up for Time to be proud, an event taking place on 2 July for RCN members and staff
  • Browse our updated exhibition celebrating diversity in nursing – Hidden in plain sight: Celebrating diversity in nursing
  • Read in RCN Activate about the work of Billy Nichols, RCN Wales Board Member, steward and safety rep, who advocates for equality and awareness of LGBT+ people in nursing.
  • If you're on Instagram you can add the new RCN gifs to your stories to celebrate Pride - search 'royal college of nursing' in the giphy search box. We're @RCNWales if you'd like to follow us while you're there!

Speaking of diversity, nurses and carers work across a number of settings and today we celebrate Care Home Open Day – virtually, of course!

I have always had so much respect for our nurses and carers working in the care home sector. They provide care for some of our most vulnerable citizens treating them with compassion and dignity. COVID-19 has not been kind to those working or living in care homes and the struggles around personal protective equipment (PPE) and working conditions are well-documented. RCN Wales continues to lobby for the care sector to have the same priority as the NHS.

The Older People’s Commissioner for Wales has published a report which provides a snapshot of life in care homes in Wales during COVID-19. In the report there are a number of calls for action for Welsh Government and other public bodies. RCN Wales will be keeping a watching brief and will hold Welsh Government to account to ensure these actions are implemented.

As always, I would love to hear your stories or experiences of any of the topics covered in this blog. Please tweet me – @nichughes1 – or email CommunicationsWales@rcn.org.uk. Have a great week and enjoy the sunshine if you can. Look after yourselves both in and out of work.

Nicky Hughes

Associate Director of Nursing (Employment Relations) RCN Wales

Nicky has 30 years experience of working in the NHS in the specialities of inpatient acute medicine and the community setting, where she managed frontline services such as District Nursing, Prison Nursing, and those caring for the homeless and asylum seekers. In addition she commissioned care from the nursing home sector.

Page last updated - 29/06/2020