A blog by Helen Barlow, Deputy Director of Nursing

International Nurses Day is celebrated around the world every May 12, the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth, and this year the International Council of Nurses has chosen the theme, Nurses: A Voice to Lead, Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Having read the sustainable development goals I reflected upon how these link so closely with our own goals here at the partnership.

DAY-TWO-(101)The goals cover a diverse range of world development issues ranging from combating climate change to reducing poverty and improving health and well- being, they reflect the world in which we are born, live and work. Across the globe, nurses are leading initiatives and contributing to the goals and having a positive impact on health outcomes.

Taking Charge of our Health and Social Care in Greater Manchester epitomises the ethos of the Sustainable Development Goals, setting out a fundamental change in the way people and our communities take charge of, and responsibility for, managing their own health and wellbeing.  The challenge for nurses across Greater Manchester is to embrace that change as key players in the partnership, and continue to respond to the changing needs of society.

As nurses we have long been leading health improvements and nurses in all roles and in all places continue to make a difference. The Partnership gives us a fantastic opportunity to bring nurses’contributions to the table to critically appraise them and make sure we are offering the best services in the best place to meet the needs of our population, now and in the future

Personally, I appreciate the opportunity nursing has provided me with to enjoy my work. Steve Jobs famously said:

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.”

For me this personifies why people become nurses.  We care about people.  We build relationships with them, with communities, and are in an enviable position where we are able to share good practice, develop new innovations and work across care settings and disciplinary boundaries. Nurses are the golden thread that runs through every health and social care setting, not just in Greater Manchester but across the world.

The nursing team at the Partnership have an exciting week planned to celebrate International Nurses Day.  We are visiting services, and celebrating all the nurses and midwives working across Greater Manchester,  raising awareness of how nurses can influence and be involved in the exciting changes underway.

Whilst many of us have been fortunate, many of us will know of or will have personal experience of some of the struggles nurses face.  So as part of our celebrations we also want to raise the profile of the Cavell Trust which supports nurses suffering personal or financial hardship.  You can find out more about their excellent work on their website.

As we visit services across the patch we will be sharing photos and tweets from our Twitter account @GM_HSC using the hashtag #voicetolead where you can also join in the conversation.