Children’s nurses stay resilient during a difficult summer

The hot weather, pandemic health consequences and pay offer anger are all taking a toll on the morale and energy of staff

Image of a nurse trying to prop up a line of collapsing columns
Picture: iStock

It’s been quite a summer. The NHS has coped well with the health consequences of unprecedented UK temperatures, which is no mean feat considering the toll the past few years has taken on the morale and energy of front-line staff.

This work highlights the commitment and resilience of the nursing workforce, who have remained dedicated despite the ongoing pay-and-politics circus.

The RCN’s Fair Pay for Nursing campaign continues, and a decent reward for the skills and devotion of children’s nurses should be forthcoming without the need for strike action.

Unanticipated health issues following the pandemic

At the start of the pandemic, Nursing Children and Young People predicted it would have far-reaching and unanticipated consequences. One of these is an apparent increase in symptoms of Tourette’s syndrome.

Another may be the part COVID-19 has played in an increase in the number of children with hepatitis, not as a direct cause but because of lowered immunity to viruses resulting from pandemic-associated lockdowns.

Diseases relatively new to the UK are also emerging as potential threats. The implications of monkeypox for children are yet to be determined, but we know that vaccines used during the smallpox eradication programme can protect against it.

Judicial battle over life support for Archie Battersbee

Sadly, some things never seem to change. Yet another children’s nursing team has continued to provide care while a judicial battle took place. The tragic circumstances of Archie Battersbee who, before his death, had been placed on life support after being found unconscious at home in April, were highlighted in the media.

There must be a way to make fair, humane and ethical decisions in cases such as this to preserve the dignity of the child and family, and avoid the confrontational drama of the courtroom.

Doreen Crawford is a consultant editor of Nursing Children and Young People




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