Celebration of Nurses and Midwives


“Nursing is the glue that unites practice and behaviour, and underpins the delivery of a safe and effective practice” was the message at Fridays’ Celebration of Nursing and Midwifery organised by the Belfast Trust.

The event, designed to celebrate the role of nurses and midwives in our health service, heard from a number of contributors highlighting exciting and innovative approaches to patient care, as well as personal stories which underlined the diversity of the work nurses carry out without complaint.

Brenda Creaney, The Belfast Trust’s Director of Nursing and User Experience, opened proceedings by welcoming everyone to a “real showcase of our largest workforce at the Belfast Trust.” She added “Nurses are the key healthcare workers who are there 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and we should celebrate that. A nurse never says I can’t do that, they get on with it and meet the needs of our patients with care and compassion. I thank you all for the work you do.”

Martin Dillon, the Chief Executive at Belfast Trust explained how nurses contribute to the Trust vision of safety, effectiveness and compassion. He said “Nurses play a leading role in fostering an open and transparent culture within the organisation and it is with merit that nurses and midwives are consistently rated as the most trusted and ethical of professions.”

The conference later heard from Charlotte McArdle, Chief Nursing Officer at the Department of Health, who spoke on the issue of professionalism, a word so often associated with those who work in nursing. She said “Professionalism means something different to all nurses and midwives and it underpins the work they do and carries responsibilities for their code and practise. Two aspects of a nurse’s character define professionalism, their behaviour and their professional code of conduct.”

Huge applause, however, greeted Imelda Potts, who told her story of emigrating from The Philippines to begin work in the Belfast Trust with great humour and warmth, key attributes any nurse needs to carry out their day to day tasks.  This tied in neatly with the keynote speaker, Professor Julia Downing, who spoke of the importance of nursing in an international setting, using her own experiences in Africa to highlight the development of nursing around the world.

Later in the afternoon delegates were presented with a wide range of best practice in nursing including the introduction of personalised ceiling art in neurology and an initiative to encourage patients to change out of pyjamas whilst in hospital. Nuala McKeever also provided some light entertainment with a workshop on how to use talents and resources effectively.

This opportunity to celebrate the work of nurses and midwives was well received and offered an opportunity to see some of the excellent work nurses are doing which, as you would expect from this profession more than most, goes well above the call of duty.