Let’s celebrate our nurses and midwives

In honour of the 200th birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale, the World Health Organisation has designated 2020 as the Year of the Nurse and Midwife – a year which will see the publication of the first ever State of the World’s Nursing Report, alongside the celebration and recognition of the crucial role nurses and midwifes play in healthcare across the world.

Here at home, we spoke to Board Nurse Director, Dr Margaret McGuire, on what Year of the Nurse and Midwife means for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

It’s very fitting that aside from the birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale, 2020 has been designated Year of the Nurse and Midwife. Looking across Greater Glasgow and Clyde, never has there been more pressure on our services to continue to deliver the high-quality, safe, consistent and effective level of care our workforce is recognised for. Our nurses and midwives form a key part of the backbone to the delivery of that service.

For many people, nurses are their main and most frequent point of contact whatever role they play and wherever they work – be it in a hospital, community, HSCP, Primary Care or any other associated healthcare service. Our nurses and midwives are responsible for shaping public perceptions of our service and what it means to deliver person centred care.

Our midwives carry the great responsibility of helping bring new life into the world, and play a crucial role as the health professionals providing care, support and guidance to mothers and their partners throughout the whole maternity care episode.

We are extremely proud of our highly skilled and educated nurses and midwives. As Nurse Director I am privileged to have such a dedicated, reliable professional workforce, and one which is constantly improving and evolving to meet the needs of the population we look after.

As staff know, Greater Glasgow and Clyde is at the heart of a significant forward-looking transformation programme which impacts every service as we implement changes and innovations to help meet ever increasing demand across the organisation.

We have some of the most specialised and highly skilled nurses and midwives in the world working at specialist, advanced and consultant level. While the fundamental principles of care will always remain the same within nursing and midwifery, this transformation involves further education, training for our nurses to continue improving and delivering person centred innovative models of care. There are fantastic opportunities here at Greater Glasgow and Clyde, and as the biggest and busiest health board in Scotland, there’s never a dull day which I’m sure the whole workforce can attest to.

As such, it’s an excellent landscape to build a career in nursing and midwifery, with brilliant colleagues helping support each other throughout.

While we are under no illusions of the challenges facing the service, and that nursing and midwifery can often face the brunt of those challenges, we know how well received the service is by the public – our most important stakeholders, and how well recognised it is, globally.

That’s why I am looking forward to celebrating Year of the Nurse and the Midwife with you. Over the next 12 months we have a number of events and plans at a local and regional level which play homage not only to Florence Nightingale, but to the thousands of nurses and midwives serving Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

I am so proud of all our nurses and midwives and want to thank you all for your immense and valuable contribution to NHSCCG and the population we care for.

Pictured top: Dr Margaret McGuire