My name is Pete Murphy, the Trust’s Director of Nursing, AHPs and Quality. I’ve asked to be a guest writer for the week, and I want to use this opportunity to dedicate my introduction to all Nurses, Midwives and support staff and reflect on the past year, in this week of the International Day of the Midwife and (next week) International Nurses Day.
So where to begin? My first sentiment is that I am truly proud to represent Blackpool Teaching Hospitals as Director of Nursing. The team is a truly extraordinary group of colleagues and throughout my time at the Trust I have been blown away with their commitment, dedication, and selflessness as we have collectively navigated all the challenges that the pandemic has thrown at us. I am deeply grateful, and wish to extend my heartfelt thank you!
I also am immediately reflecting on a most poignant 48 hours in May 2020 where one of our colleagues and friends died whilst receiving care on our Intensive Care Unit. Medical Director Jim Gardner and I had the privilege of escorting Eleuterio ‘Boy’ Gibela on his final journey to our mortuary. I will never forget the lined corridors representing a guard of honour on a Saturday afternoon. It had a profound and lasting effect on both Jim and I and we will never forget.
Some 48 hours later we found cause to form another guard of honour as baby Ruby and her mum and dad (Katherine and Stuart) left our Trust. This time a celebration event that witnessed a new life being set free to experience all the wonderful aspects that life has to offer.
As I reflect on these events in many ways it encapsulates the wonderful contribution my colleagues make as Registered Midwives and Nurses to society, caring from conception to end of life and care after death, and all things in between.
Never has this been more exemplified than over the course of the Covid-19 pandemic and we will never forget the contribution everyone has made as we look forward to restoring our services.
Over the last year we have also worked diligently in responding to the many challenges we faced as Trust. It has been a busy year as we have looked to reset our services, implement new systems and processes, invest in our core nursing templates and corporate nursing teams.
Amongst the highlights, the development of the COAST accreditation system is of real significance and again the Nursing and Midwifery family have been brilliant in their acceptance of the system.
We have seen tears of joy and sadness following assessment but for every rating (Gold, Silver or Bronze) a real commitment to consolidate and or improve. This response again encapsulates what makes this Trust so wonderful to work at because it is the passion of our staff and the commitment to improve that makes my job so joyful.
We also have been incredibly fortunate to receive investment for our Infection Prevention and Control team, Patient Responsiveness Team and also for the first time in our history have a Bereavement Service to support those who are dying and bereaved in those final phases of life. The SWAN model will in many ways revolutionise our end of life care and I look forward to seeing the model embedded across the Trust.
It’s been an extraordinary year. One that will live on with us all, but as we reflect with sorrow for the lives lost, pride in the high standards of care we have been able to deliver and most importantly pride for the professions I represent we carry forward a sense of hope for the future.
Life will soon return to some degree of normality and as it does I want to remind myself and hopefully those who read this introduction that we have been fortunate to live through these times and contribute to the effort of response to the pandemic.
But I am also reminded that I work in the greatest profession in the world bar none and it is one of the greatest joys in my life to work alongside so many fabulous colleagues. Happy International Day of the Midwife and Happy International Nurses day to one and all.