Perceptions of Nursing and Midwifery

Celebrating #NHS70 & a reflection by Daniel Gooding

Today, I am going to talk a little bit about why I love the NHS and share my reflections from attending an event celebrating #NHS70.

Working within the NHS isn’t always easy and a lot of the news around the NHS has been to do with the lack of funding, resources and personnel, so it’s refreshing to see the positivity and gratitude that has been swept across social media, in particular today, as it is the NHS 70th Birthday! I love the NHS not least because it has saved Lucy’s lives at least 6 times and my nieces life, but because of the difference it makes to every single person. Regardless of their background or age. I am lucky that the trusts I have worked in have all shared the same vision, values and goals and we work, as a team.

Earlier this week I had the honour of co-chairing the afternoon session of “Innovating & Leadership, Nursing & Midwifery for the Future”, an event that was part of the celebrations for the NHS 70th year. Wow! What an afternoon it was!

I was full of pride as I stepped onto the stage with Mandy Stevens (my co-chair). I said to Mandy, just a few minutes before, “I have no idea why I am stood up here, what have I done to deserve such a fab honour, but then Mandy installed a wave of confidence into me, a sense of belonging, that actually I have worked hard and been recognised for that, and that’s how I got to where I am.

As the afternoon session started, Mandy and I got onto the stage to introduce ourselves and why the NHS was important to us. Mandy said the NHS is important as it is there for all of us as and when we need it, regardless of our stature in society. I said how I believe healthcare, free at the point of access should be a basic human right, a basic entitlement to all.

The afternoon session rolled on and as we heard from various chief nurses and well known leaders, I was struck with a sense of awe. Awe about what the NHS has achieved so far. Awe about how so many people feel so passionately about potentially the best thing about Britain. And I felt empowered and safe that myself and my fellow student nurses and midwives are up for the challenge of continuing to provide safe and effective care and developing our professions as the future NHS leaders of tomorrow.

Just as I prepared to go up to lead reflection and set the stage for Oliver Shanley, the regional chief nurse for London, to close I asked him if he would mind if I took some time to talk, after all, this was an amazing opportunity to experience addressing such a prestigious and experienced group of NHS leaders & in particular, Student Nurses & Midwives who I recognised. I has scrubbed down things I had found profound and also things I wanted to talk about, but as I learnt at Congress, I am much better when I talk off the cuff as opposed to meticulously planning it out. I’d like to share with you some snippets of what I said then;

  • I talked about how I am a big advocate of social media, and of positive thinking, I then shared this quote on the importance of positive thinking;

“With positive thinking you can do anything. Wrong. However, positive thinking will let you do everything better than negative thinking will. Positive thinking will let you use the ability which you have and that is awesome. It works this way. You can walk into a dark room, flip a switch and immediately the room is lighted. Flipping the switch did not generate the electricity; it releases the electricity which has been stored. Positive thinking works that way, it releases the abilities which you have.”

After sharing the quote I went in to talk about;

  • Believe in yourself and you will be unstoppable – I used #HelloMyNameIs & #EndPJParalysis as examples of people who tried. After all, failure is better than not trying and wondering what if.
  • Take opportunities
  • As Damn Jill Macleod Clark & Baroness Watkins of Tavistock said: “Bend the rules, don’t break them”
  • Then, I touched on what had previously been talked about by Baroness Watkins of Tavistock & Caroline Alexander – the need for nurses and midwives to be at the table for important policy discussions, because when we are not, we are negatively impacted I.e. Scrapping the bursary, the safe staffing legislations etc. And that if there was not a chair for you at that table, to do as RCN president Cecilia Anim said “bring your own chair to the table.”

This experience of celebrating the NHS 70th Birthday has been the perfect way for me to wrap up my nursing training. I now understand the true meaning of the phrase “A nurse is not what you do, it is what you are. It is not what I do, it is what I am.”

Thanks for reading,


What inspired you to write this blog?

The Transforming Perceptions of Nursing and Midwifery 30 Day Challenge


What is your role?

Third Year CYP Nursing Student -  Leader - Nursing Activist - RCN SIO of the Year 2018


What are your nursing and/or midwifery qualifications?

Third Year CYP Nursing Student


edited on Aug 31, 2018 by Blogs
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