Comment

The good, the bad and the ugly of 2017

Nurses need to be applauded for their efforts throughout the year, writes Amanda Burston.

While friends and family will soon be celebrating Christmas and new year, for emergency staff this can be a time of extra stress as we greet the next Santa with a broken ankle or Christmas fairy with lower abdominal pain.

But looking back, 2017 will be remembered for many reasons. Our services have been pushed to the limits, with no break in the 'winter' pressures.

Emergency strategy was truly tested as colleagues responded professionally and promptly to terrorist attacks in Manchester and London.

No clarification over amount

The controversial 1% pay freeze continued to be debated, especially in Liverpool when RCN members gathered for an inspiring congress. Health secretary Jeremy Hunt said the cap would be scrapped so next April nurses could at last see a pay increase, although the amount remains to be seen.

The government also made

...

While friends and family will soon be celebrating Christmas and new year, for emergency staff this can be a time of extra stress as we greet the next Santa with a broken ankle or Christmas fairy with lower abdominal pain.


Picture: Alamy

But looking back, 2017 will be remembered for many reasons. Our services have been pushed to the limits, with no break in the 'winter' pressures.

Emergency strategy was truly tested as colleagues responded professionally and promptly to terrorist attacks in Manchester and London.

No clarification over amount

The controversial 1% pay freeze continued to be debated, especially in Liverpool when RCN members gathered for an inspiring congress. Health secretary Jeremy Hunt said the cap would be scrapped so next April nurses could at last see a pay increase, although the amount remains to be seen.

The government also made a pledge to tackle mental ill-health following disclosure of failings in services and growth in the numbers of people affected, in particular children and young people.

The effect of Brexit continues to cause uncertainty as doubt and negativity seep into the minds of colleagues from overseas, with many choosing to leave.

'Thank you to everyone working through December. Just think: Christmas will offer a chance to spend time with your working family and avoiding Eastenders'

And the Nursing and Midwifery Council released figures demonstrating our workforce is shrinking. We have more nurses leaving than joining and NHS vacancies remain high.

Making it through unscathed 

Given all that has happened, many emergency staff will probably reflect on 2017 with gratitude at having made it through relatively unscathed.

Thank you to everyone working through December. Just think: Christmas will offer a chance to spend time with your working family and avoiding Eastenders. No excuse will be required to miss out on dry turkey and awful homemade mince pies. Instead, we will put on our uniforms and ease the excess, pains and discomfort of everyone who needs our help.

Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy, safe new year.


About the author

Amanda Burston is resuscitation officer, University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust

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