Executive Director of Nursing Blog: April 2024 – Tricia D’Orsi

8th May 2024

I wanted to start by saying how pleased I was to see so many nominations from our system for NHS England’s East of England Perinatal Celebratory Event which was held in March. There were over 100 nominations across the eastern region in categories recognising the fantastic work of individuals and teams to support patients.

Special mentions to the winners from Norfolk and Waveney, including:

  • Excellence in Innovation – Prof Jon Lartey from NNUH
  • Inspiring Leader – Melanie White from NFST
  • Maternity Support Worker of the Year – Lucy Lowe from NNUH
  • Neonatologist of the Year – Florence Walston from NNUH
  • Outstanding Contribution – Fran Harlow from NNUH

On Sunday 5 May midwives in the UK and around the world celebrated International Day of the Midwife 2024. This year our Local Maternity and Neonatal System (LMNS) team built on their own health and fitness by running the Parkrun at Blickling Hall, which was followed by cake and coffee.

In the past year, the LMNS team have travelled to Uganda to work with other midwives. The team held workshops on various topics including respect and communications, practical skills and drills and building research and evidence into practice. The experience was reciprocally beneficial and has inspired midwifery teams in both countries. Our international outreach is set to continue as our Lead Midwife Nicola Lovett has taken on the role as Trustee at the charity Life for African Mothers.

International Council of Nurses President, Dr Pamela Cipriano describes how this year’s International Nurses Day (12 May) theme of ‘The economic power of care’ highlights the need for nursing to be seen as an investment, instead of a cost, and to reshape perceptions of the nursing profession’s economic and societal benefits.

International Nurses’ Day is an opportunity to reflect on all the fantastic work our nursing and midwifery family do. Whether you are a qualified nurse or midwife, a nursing associate, healthcare assistant, support worker or nursing student, thank you for the commitment and skills that you bring to the NHS. Nursing staff and the public can get involved by sharing stories on social media about a time when a nursing colleague made a difference to you or someone you love, using #NursesDay in the post. 

Some of you may have recently seen that after five years as Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) for England, and an NHS career spanning almost 40 years, Dame Ruth May will be retiring this year. Dame Ruth has served in the role since January 2019 and is also the national director for infection prevention and control.

In a message to NHS England staff, chief executive Amanda Pritchard said: “I will personally miss Ruth’s dedication and commitment to the NHS, to the professions she leads, and to our patients, which comes across so strongly in everything she does. Ruth leaves big shoes to fill, but I am grateful that she will stay with us for a while yet as we start the search for our next CNO, giving us all plenty of time to say our personal thanks and goodbyes.”

Finally, applications are now open for The Queen’s Nursing Institute Ambition to Lead Programme (previously known as Aspiring Nurse Leaders programme), a leadership opportunity for nurses and Allied Health Professionals (AHPs). It’s designed to support the professional development of experienced nurses and AHPs (with 5 years or more experience) working in community, primary care, charity or independent sector, to become future leaders in healthcare.

Kind regards,

Tricia D’Orsi

Executive Director of Nursing

NHS Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care System