Belfast Trust Celebrates Nurses and Midwives


Over 250 people – many of them nurses, midwives and health care assistants – gathered in Assembly Buildings, Belfast to celebrate the wonderful contribution they make to the experience of patients and clients of all ages across our very large and complex organisation.

The themes of the Celebration were based on Belfast Trust’s purpose – ‘caring supporting improving together’ – and specifically on Nursing and Midwifery’s contribution to:

  1. Patient and Client Experience
  2. Developing Supportive Teams
  3. Improving Practice
  4. Living the Trust’s values.

Opening the conference Dr Michael McBride emphasised ‘the tremendous potential the Trust has to improve the quality of life for the population of Belfast and Northern Ireland and that it is the staff who make it so’. He added ‘our greatest asset and our most important resource is all of you and we have a tremendous responsibility towards each other in looking after our patients and clients’.

Brenda said that she wanted ‘to begin the day by saying how proud I am to be a nurse, and how deeply proud I am of you’. She said ‘we have all had to cope with some real challenges, particularly in recent months during periods of exceptional demand’ and wanted to ‘sincerely thank nurses, midwives and health care assistants working in practice, learning and leadership for the impact they make to the lives of many countless people – every minute of every day and night, in our hospitals and in our community’​  

The keynote speaker was Sir Stephen Moss, who is a Nurse with over thirty years’ experience in posts at Board level including Chief Nurse, Chief Executive, Non-Executive Director and Chairman. Sir Stephen shared his learning from his time as Chairman in Mid Staffs, where he was appointed following the publication of the Francis Report. Sir Stephen emphasised that our focus should continue to be on ‘front line’ staff and ‘not lose sight of the human impact’ of what we do. He said we should ‘avoid complacency like the plague’.

Throughout the Celebration, over 100 Abstracts submitted by nurses, midwives and health care assistants were shared as posters and video clips. AFTA Thought brought the stories of patients and clients in our Trust ‘to life’ using drama. The b well Team provided support and information for everyone to help take further steps to improve their own health and wellbeing.

Towards the close of the Celebration, Chief Nursing Officer Prof Charlotte McArdle thanked everyone and said that the posters should be shared further – across the Trust, as well as nationally and internationally in journals.


Closing the celebration event Brenda launched the Trust Nursing and Midwifery Forum. Brenda said that ‘her vision for the Forum is to provide a much needed space for the family of nursing and midwifery to meet regularly, share learning and work together on key issues’. Brenda announced that the first Forum meeting will be held on International Nurses’ Day on 12 May, the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth. Brenda said that the Forum is open to all and wanted emphasised that the Forum would be developed with staff.