Nurses thanked for their hard work and dedication in Christmas messages

UK nursing leaders have praised 'dedicated and compassionate' nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants who will be on duty over the Christmas period.

UK nursing leaders have praised 'dedicated and compassionate' nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants who will be on duty over the Christmas period

In 2015, the TUC estimated that 89,000 nurses, 46,000 healthcare assistants and 17,000 doctors spent Christmas Day on duty.

Mission to transform mental health

Chief nursing officer for England Jane Cummings said: ‘I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all nursing, midwifery and care staff for your hard work.

Jane Cummings

‘This year we have seen major developments including a focus on improving services, recognising the importance of patient time and publishing the Next Steps plan for the NHS.

‘We will be key to its delivery, providing more care to patients closer to home over the coming months and transforming mental health, cancer and primary care among others.’

Care and compassion for society's most vulnerable

Charlotte McArdle

Chief Nursing Officer for Northern Ireland Charlotte McArdle said: ‘Nurses and midwives are well placed to provide support, care and compassion for those who are more vulnerable in our society.

‘Being available 24/7 over the Christmas holiday period when many of us are enjoying time off with friends and family is to be commended, but we must also work hard at changing these issues.’

Professor McArdle added she was looking forward to next year’s celebrations to mark the centenary of the Midwives Act (Ireland) 1918, as well as the launch of a new district nursing framework for the country.


Away from family and friends at Christmas

Jean White

Chief Nursing Officer for Wales Jean White paid tribute to the nurses whose work keeps them away from family and friends at Christmas.

She said: ‘Your continued dedication and compassion in the care of others is greatly appreciated and I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your hard work and commitment in providing high-quality care throughout the year.’

2017: a year of great achievements

Highlights of 2017 for Chief Nursing Officer for Scotland Fiona McQueen included the creation of 2,600 extra nurse training places as well as publishing Nursing 2030 Vision, the country's strategy for shaping the future of the profession.

Fiona McQueen

She said: 'Those are all great achievements – and come in a year that has seen a record new high number of NHS staff, and the highest ever number of acceptances to study nursing and midwifery at Scottish universities – but ones we will always work hard to build on.

'The festive period can bring its own unique challenges and demands, but NHS staff meet those with the same enduring care, compassion and professionalism.

'At such a busy time, I hope everyone stays safe and healthy, and want to give my thanks to all our dedicated and hard-working staff who are always there to look after us.'

Tip for nurses working at Christmas

Janet Davies

RCN general secretary Janet Davies offered a tip for nurses working over Christmas.

She said: ‘Getting someone else to cook the Christmas dinner can be a positive thing.

‘Hopefully you will have nice peaceful shifts over the Christmas period and be able to get some rest as well.’

Deepest thanks

Bernell Bussue

In his last Christmas message before retiring in March, RCN London director Bernell Bussue said: ‘I would like to extend our deepest thanks to all nursing and healthcare staff for keeping the health service going every hour of every day.

‘You help patients maintain their dignity, offer warmth and understanding and make sure patients still feel like people, bringing compassion and humanity to even the most challenging and demanding situations.

‘I wish you all a restful, happy Christmas period and best wishes for the year ahead.’

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