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May: Election, revolution and celebration

Now that June has crept up on us its time to reflect on May which brought both celebrations and surprises from International nurses day and Jamie Oliver's food revolution day, and the surprisingly staid election result which few predicted.

The annual International nurses day on the 12th May aims to appreciate the hard work of nurses everywhere. Nurses who have shown specific dedication to their career were honoured, for example Natalie Yates-Bolton a nurse from Salford was recognised for her work in dementia care. Natalie's story can be read in the next issue of Nursing in practice magazine, as she is our latest nurse to be interviewed for our professional nurses profile section.

I have also read many stories written by patients reflecting on the care they received, paying a well-deserved tribute to those on the frontline of care. There are many posted on the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), click here to read a patient story posted by the RCN. 

Dr Peter Carter, chief executive and general secretary of the RCN said: “Nurses day is a great opportunity for nurses and patients to truly celebrate their vocation and the huge difference they make to the lives of millions of people worldwide. These are challenging times for nurses so it is great to return to the heart of nursing and reflect on the very special reasons why nurses do what they do.”

I couldn't agree more with Carter but of course I am biased, not only as features editor of Nursing in Practice but both my mum and sister are nurses. Such a dynamic and caring workforce should be celebrated in this way.

Then Jamie Oliver's food revolution day on the 15th May which highlighted shocking statistics such as 'worldwide there are more than 42 million children under the age of five who are overweight or obese'. Jamie's campaign aim was to get as many people as possible to sign a petition that would show support for compulsory practical food education in schools across the world. Jamie also used the day to highlight special recipes that are healthy options for children.

Speaking about the food revolution day Professor Maureen Barker chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners said: “Encouraging children to eat healthily and to enjoy eating healthy food - is essential in securing them long and healthy lives, reducing their risk of debilitating diseases such as cancer and diabetes. Making sure that they know what is healthy and how to cook it, and what isn't healthy and how to avoid it, is key.”

The general election result was the top issue for many. Following a huge amount of speculation about rainbow coalitions and post election deals the Tory win took the wind out of the sails of many. It was followed by a slew of resignations from opposition party leaders Nick Clegg, David Miliband and Nigel Farage, the latter of which did not stand for long. What this government will do for nurses is starting to become clear, at least in hospital setting as the returning Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt promises to clamp down on trust spends on agency staff.

The RCN post election stated: “The RCN will be closely monitoring the performance of the Government and continue to lobby on the nursing counts manifesto priorities, holding the Government to account on the promises they have made at every possible opportunity.”

For primary care there is seven day working and 8am to 8pm GP access coming down the tracks and the impact that will have remains to be seen.