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UK chief nurses and NMC issue letter of support

Open letter warns of winter pressures adding to strain of pandemic’s second wave

Four UK chief nursing officers and Nursing and Midwifery Council's joint letter underlines commitment to nurses and midwives, but warns of winter pressures adding to strain of COVID-19 pandemic

The UK’s four chief nursing officers (CNOs) and the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) have released a joint letter about supporting nurses and midwives during the second

Four UK chief nursing officers and Nursing and Midwifery Council's joint letter underlines commitment to nurses and midwives, but warns of winter pressures adding to strain of COVID-19 pandemic

L-R: chief nursing officers Ruth May (England); Fiona McQueen (Scotland); Jean White (Wales); and Charlotte McArdle (Northern Ireland)
Left to right: chief nursing officers Ruth May (England); Fiona McQueen (Scotland); Jean White (Wales); and Charlotte McArdle (Northern Ireland)

The UK’s four chief nursing officers (CNOs) and the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) have released a joint letter about supporting nurses and midwives during the second wave of COVID-19.

The letter states that the CNOs ‘remain committed’ to supporting the professions during ‘difficult and uncertain times’.

Warning that there may need to be ‘sustained and prolonged’ response to second wave

The CNOs and NMC expressed pride in the professions labelling their work as ‘truly exemplary and inspiring’.

‘It is more important now than ever that we continue to maintain the high standards the public expect of us and we expect of each other. This includes following government guidelines and our professional code,’ they added.

The letter warns there may need to be a ‘sustained and prolonged’ response throughout the winter period if there is local variation and a fluctuation in cases, but says that action taken across the four nations have made the initial peak ‘significantly lower than it would have been’.

Healthcare professionals will need to be flexible in what they do

The letter adds: ‘This second wave will require all healthcare professionals to be flexible in what they do. For nurses, this may include working outside their usual role or place of work.

‘We recognise how stressful this can be and that our professional communities may have concerns about both the professional practicalities and implications of working in such circumstances.

‘We are committed to ensuring you feel supported during these changes and are able to discuss and raise concerns where appropriate.’

It continues: ‘We expect employers, educational supervisors, professional bodies, NHS and national health and social care organisations to be flexible in their approach and the expectations of routine requirements.’

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