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Winter work


Time to recognise our hidden front line


Emily Twinch


You are vaccination experts, and your expertise is vital to make this massive vaccination programme a success.

You are not inclined to shout about your achievements. 

Nurses do not like being called heroes. You usually carry out your work with quiet dedication. But these are not usual times. 

If you’re a practice nurse, you have learned to work digitally but have also made sure vital work such as baby jabs have continued during the pandemic. Now you are central to the biggest vaccination programme ever – to inoculate people against Covid-19. Just before that, you were part of the biggest flu vaccination programme ever seen in this country. 

If you’re a community nurse, you have dealt with incredible workloads and been a daily witness to heartbreaking scenes, such as dying people who cannot be hugged by relatives. 

But when people went into the streets to clap it was the NHS they celebrated, and when they thought of nurses it was those who work in hospitals. Now more than ever you deserve recognition. But not just for recognition’s sake. 

You want it because you have a valuable voice to bring to the table. You are vaccination experts, and your expertise is vital to make this massive vaccination programme a success. Employers, Government and the media should remember you too. Now seems a good time to address the variation of wages and conditions between practices, a longterm issue that should not be ignored because this time it might mean many nurses walking out of the job after the pandemic has passed. 

I feel I am right in saying you would be buoyed by a little more appreciation and acknowledgement, which should translate into fairer, more standard wages and terms and conditions across the board. To me it seems a little that would go a long way. 

See here Nursing in Practice’s campaign to recognise the work of practice and community nurses, and midwives during the pandemic, Nursing Stars.