As this is my first blog of 2023, I wish you all a belated happy new year! I hope you managed to spend some time with loved ones and have managed to recharge your batteries.
A new year is always a time for new starts and I’m pleased to report senior nurses across The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust and Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust are now all wearing the same uniforms.
These will be worn by myself, Debra Hickman and Lisa Carroll, Directors of Nursing, and Cath Wilson, Martina Morris, Caroline Whyte and Christian Ward, our Deputy Directors of Nursing.
Up until now, colleagues in these roles were wearing different coloured uniforms, but as we continue to work collaboratively and they work across both Trusts, we have decided on a common, consistent dress code to make them more recognisable.
Grey dresses with red piping – matching trousers and tunic for Christian, when he gets his – were the overwhelming choice from a limited selection of colours available.
This is how nursing staff will see us as we continue our #BackToTheFloorFriday. For those who don’t know or who haven’t yet seen or experienced it, this is where the Directors of Nursing and I, plus the Deputy Directors of Nursing Matrons and other senior nurses clear our diaries, leave our desks and meetings behind and spend Fridays working on the wards.
Feedback so far has been extremely positive, with senior nurses enjoying having more time out in practice.
This brings to me our new nursing arrivals. Recently, we welcomed 60 international nurses from different countries to work across both Trusts.
I’m delighted they’re here and are supporting us and I salute the brave decision they have made to experience a different culture, a new life and in some cases, a new language.
I hope they receive all the support they need in their education and training to gain their Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) pin number, and that the Trusts can provide them with all the exciting opportunities to flourish in their careers.
Those 60 nurses will shortly be further swelled by another 41, then and a further 48 at the end of January. I am so pleased they are joining us at both Wolverhampton and Walsall.
The new nurses are part of 298 international nurse recruits combined across both Trusts since April 2022, and they will be joined by another 50 before the end of March.
That will bring the total to 348, which is 31 more than our target, representing a significant success at a time when demand for nurses is so great.