Winter is expected to be very challenging winter for the NHS and social care.
The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has written to all registered nursing staff in the UK with a “message of thanks and support”.
It comes ahead of what is widely expected to be a very challenging winter for the NHS and social care.
The letter is also signed by the Chief Nursing Officers of all four nations.
It reads; “As we near the end of 2021, and whilst restrictions are easing and vaccination rates are increasing across the UK, we are still experiencing continued pressures, with the longer term consequences of Covid-19 felt across health and care services.
“We know our nursing and midwifery professionals, and their teams, at every level are working incredibly hard, providing the best treatment, care and support possible, often in complex clinical situations and changing circumstances.
“We want to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued professionalism and hard work during this period of unrelenting pressure, and to renew the assurances of support we’ve made throughout the pandemic.
“As we head into the winter months and face ongoing challenges we all want to acknowledge the difficult decisions you will continue to make every day. We recognise that you may need to work more flexibly, often in unfamiliar and high pressured situations.
“We know that this can be difficult, and that in some unprecedented situations you may need to depart from established procedures to care for people. Your professional judgment is really important and we expect your employers to support you in these situations.
“Earlier in the year we outlined the importance of working in partnership with people receiving care and your fellow professionals, and using your professional judgement to assess risk, informed by the values and principles set out in NMC professional standards. This remains as important as it ever was.
“You may have concerns that your decisions and your practice may be challenged, especially if things should go wrong. We want to reassure you that the NMC will always consider the specific facts of the case, taking into account the factors and context relevant to the environment in which a professional is working.
“We also want to reiterate that the NMC Code is here to support you as a valuable tool to help guide practice, supported by the NMC’s latest Caring with Confidence animations.
“As we enter the latter stages of 2021, it’s important that you also take care of your own health and wellbeing. There are a range of supporting resources available from your employer, nationally and from the NMC and we have included details at the end of this letter to help you.
“Thank you once again for continuing to work so hard to care for so many in these unprecedented times. Your work is making an immeasurable difference to the lives of people across the UK. We want to pay tribute to all of you for your professionalism, innovation and determination.