International Nurses’ Day: Andrew Russell

Dear Colleagues,

RE: Open letter to all Doncaster nursing staff

Today, Wednesday 12 May, is International Nurses Day and would once again like to publicly thank each and every member of our nursing family working in Doncaster.

I wrote to you all last year and would never have imagined we would still be in the midst of Coronavirus now. What a year it has been. The nights where claps would erupt from doorsteps at 8pm on a Thursday are way in the past, but the appreciation for all that you do is still there.

Chief Nurse
Andrew Russell

Whilst the last year has shown significant disruption to healthcare, there has also been significant innovation that has improved access to care and I thank you all for going above and beyond to embrace such changes.

Our nurses have worked tirelessly throughout a relentless period of high demand whilst managing the pandemic, caring for patients and often, putting their own health at risk.

I would like to say thank you to our nursing family. You continue to amaze the Doncaster community with passion and dedication to your roles whilst working selflessly to care for people.

Considering innovations in nursing and how this is shaping the future of health care, this year’s International Nurses Day theme is ‘A Voice to Lead’ with a sub theme of ‘A Vision for Future Healthcare’.

International Nurses Day is celebrated around the world every 12 May, the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth, and aims to acknowledge the invaluable contributions nurses make to the health of people around the world.

I’ve seen first-hand in Doncaster how well our nurses have adapted and responded to the Covid-19 pandemic whilst ensuring other health care needs and services are met and maintained. The ongoing professionalism and hard work displayed by our nursing teams has never been more valued by their colleagues, patients, and the entire community.

The pandemic has forced the entire NHS workforce to be flexible and work in ways we never have before. Nurses are not only providing care to the patients of Doncaster, they are helping to vaccinate thousands of people every day against the virus which has wrecked such havoc in our lives.

International Nurses Day is a hugely important day in our calendar. Given the unprecedented challenges the NHS has faced, the event is more important than ever, and it gives us a chance to reflect and celebrate our wonderful nursing colleagues. On a personal note, I want to share my thanks and acknowledge how incredibly hard this year has been. Thank you for still showing up and being beacons of light, hope and comfort to all of those who you look after. The dedication of our nurses is truly amazing and we’re lucky to have them working at our hospitals, local practices and within our community.

I want to finish by emphasising my appreciation for everyone who is a member of the nursing community regardless of where you work. Many of you work outside of direct care in areas such as research, education, policy and commissioning and some of you may even have returned to nursing to help during the pandemic. All of you have helped save many lives and bring a sense a normal back as our vaccination programme continues.

Thank you to all of you.

Yours sincerely,

Andrew Russell, Chief Nurse at NHS Doncaster CCG