Are children's nurses fit for the future? I think so

Hearing Sue Morrish, a mother whose young son died from sepsis, speak so movingly and yet so appropriately for her nursing audience at our first ever conference was one of the highlights.

Sue Morrish speaking at the Children’s Nursing: Fit for the Future? conference. Picture: Neil O'Connor

Sue has become a campaigner on sepsis awareness. Her three-year-old son Sam died after contracting flu and because of failures by the health service to identify, and communicate that he had become seriously unwell.

Sue’s work in raising health professionals’ awareness of sepsis after such a personal tragedy is amazing, but what she also wants to see is more awareness among parents and the public. She has made a video which is being promoted by Devon and Torbay Clinical Commissioning Group and others in which she urges parents to have their children immunised with the flu vaccine. The video features Sam’s favourite cuddly toy Monkey, who has become the campaign's emblem.


The message about diagnosing sepsis in acute care was explored further by Drew McDonald, this year’s RCNi child health award winner, whose work has improved the recognition and treatment of sepsis in the Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital emergency department and now, because of his work, in other units.

Neonatal care, designing a children’s hospital, palliative care, self-harm, learning disabilities and research in child health were among the other topics at the conference we called Children’s Nursing: Fit for the Future? Delegates came from across the UK for this event which we hope to repeat next year. Details will be announced soon.

Nominations for this year’s RCNi Nurse Awards 2018 are now open. The child health category is always competitive but don’t let this put you off. It is a fabulous opportunity and the category winner will automatically get the chance to win the ultimate accolade – the RCN’s Nurse of the Year.

Fit for the Future? I think so.