Two Walsall Healthcare senior nurses have been recognised for their contributions in a region-wide commemorative e-book that marks the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife.
The e-book has been produced by the NHS England and NHS Improvement Midlands’ regional nursing team as a virtual celebration of 2020 as the Year of the Nurse and Midwife before the celebrations were extended into 2021.
It showcases the diversity of nursing and midwifery as professions, as well as recognising the difference that nurses and midwives are making to patients.
It also supports the national We are the NHS campaign to showcase the breadth and variety of nursing and midwifery as professions to help inspire others to follow in their footsteps.
Joan Dyer and Angela Cope, both senior nurses at Walsall Healthcare, feature in the commemorative e-book which recognises and celebrates the outstanding work of nurses and midwives across the Midlands region.
The commemorative e-book – which is available to view online at www.england.nhs.uk/midlands/yonm-ebook – contains stories, case studies, videos and poem contributions from nurses and midwives across all of the Midlands’ 11 STP and ICS areas.
Joan and Angela were recognised for their work to set up a shared decision making council for all black, Asian and minority ethnic colleagues within the trust to ensure that colleagues feel empowered to speak up on issues that matter to them.
Joan Dyer, Matron for the Surgical Division and Chair of the shared decision making council, said: “The Black Lives Matter movement over the summer was a catalyst for change and also led me to reflect on wider issues my colleagues from BAME backgrounds felt were important.
“I realised we needed to establish a group that would represent the views of our BAME colleagues. I spoke to our Vice Chair on our leadership team and she was incredibly supportive, and we launched the Black Asian Minority Ethnic Shared Decision-Making Council within the Trust. Our members are from across all staff groups, clinical and non-clinical staff.”
Joan and Angela worked with the council members to identify what mattered to them most. The council has already set up mentoring schemes and run coaching sessions on how to approach interviews. They have also received some support from the Royal College of Nursing who carried out some culture ambassador training.
Joan added: “I am really delighted and privileged that the Walsall BAME shared decision making council been featured. It has been an incredible personal journey to see the organisation’s openness and acceptance of culture change when it comes to equality, diversity and Inclusion.
“My hopes for the council are for it to develop and grow our frontline BAME staff network, ensuring that we focus on the issues that really matter to them and making sure their voices are listened to.”
Angela, Ward 29 Senior Sister, said: “The BAME Shared Decision Making Council for me is a vehicle to drive organisational change and to eradicate workplace racial injustice.
“It is about improving through inclusion of equality and diversity and being an advocate for those who feel they have not got a voice. I am delighted to be a role model within my trust and to be able to empower my colleagues in positive culture change.
Ann-Marie Riley, Director of Nursing, said: “The Year of the Nurse and Midwife is a great opportunity to celebrate and champion nurses and midwives and to showcase the incredibly diverse roles they perform.
“I am so incredibly proud that the work led by Joan and Angela has been featured in the commemorative e-book and their hard work has been recognised.
“This year in particular has been challenging for so many people and many of our staff have gone above and beyond to ensure we have been able to provide safe, high quality care throughout the pandemic. I would like to thank all of them for their patience, compassion, unwavering commitment and support – not only to their profession but also to their fellow colleagues, patients and the public of Walsall.”
You can read more about Joan and Angela’s story in the Year of the Nurse and Midwife commemorative e-book online at www.england.nhs.uk/midlands/yonm-ebook