On Friday 3rd February 2017, The Florence Nightingale Foundation held its seventh Annual Conference and Charity Gala Dinner at the atmospheric Guoman Tower Hotel in London.
This year’s theme was In It Together: Connections, Networks and Alliances which saw a packed programme including plenary speakers Jo Malone MBE, Founder, Jo Malone London and Jo Loves; Catrin Pugh, 96% Burns Survivor and Inspirational Speaker and Denise Chaffer, Director of Safety, Learning & People at NHS Litigation Authority.
Jo Malone was the first speaker of the morning and shared her inspiring story of personal development and leadership as she explained how she built an empire from her kitchen sink, twice! Her wonderfully honest and humble description of the highs and lows she has faced in both her personal and professional lives held the audience enthralled and left them feeling positive and ready to take on the world as Catrin Pugh took the stage for the second session of the morning.
Catrin’s story stressed just how much a life can change in the space of a day. Her incredible courage shone through at every turn as she smiled and joked her way through her tale, describing her difficult journey with a positivity and energy that were amazingly infectious. She left her listeners with an immense pride in their professions, reminded of exactly why they do what they do.
In the afternoon, Jonny Guy Lewis, a highly trained Communication Skills Tutor from RADA in Business, gave an interactive plenary session which explored how to create presence and impact in the workplace and reinvigorated the audience after their afternoon tea break! Denise Chaffer delivered an interesting and insightful session based on her book ‘Effective Leadership, A Cure for the NHS?’ which drew on the experience of a range of senior healthcare leaders to explore the importance of good leadership in the NHS. Finally, Dionne Levy was the last plenary speaker of the day. Dionne, a perinatal mental health midwife, won the Nursing Times Rising Star Award in 2016, and listening to her speech it was not difficult to see why. Speaking eloquently and passionately, she described how she saw a gap in the service and transformed it to provide vulnerable pregnant women with mental illness with the care they need and deserve. Her passion and determination shone through and was a wonderful, positive example that bodes well for the future of nursing.
The twelve masterclasses and lunchtime fringe sessions on offer varied hugely and were all extremely popular. These ranged from Professor Jane Reid’s Why Shortcuts and Workarounds Harm Patients and Cost Lives which highlighted common deviations in nursing that undermine the quality of patient care, to Stacy Johnson’s Reverse Mentoring for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in the NHS, an interactive masterclass exploring the use of reverse mentoring to improve inclusivity within the NHS, to Elaine Inglesby-Burke’s Creating and Motivating Great Teams which explored different strategies used to build and engage teams. The masterclasses covered all areas of practice and the conference theme was a thread running throughout as they all shared best practice and practical innovations in healthcare.
Professor Elizabeth Robb gave the closing remarks for what was her seventh and final conference as CEO of The Florence Nightingale Foundation. As usual, Liz delivered a rousing and passionate speech urging her listeners to draw on the themes of the conference and to not be afraid to ‘do things differently’, and the response from the audience was phenomenal.
Our hashtag #FNF17 was trending on twitter in the UK all day and well into the evening, and some of the immediate feedback from the day includes:
“Lived up to its name of great connections, alliances and networks”
“An amazing conference and gala dinner”
“Full of buzz, excitement, ideas and inspiration”
“Inspirational speakers, insightful sessions and great networking opportunities”
“Amazing day. Best conference I’ve been to for a while – learnt lots, inspired and met great people”
“A really fab #FNF17, lots learnt and lots of reflecting and action to do”
The Gala Dinner took place at the same venue later that evening, and guests ate, drank and danced the night away surrounded by stunning views of the picturesque Tower Bridge. The fundraising raffle included some of our best ever prizes and raised a huge amount of money which will enable the Foundation to continue doing what it does best and making a difference to patient care.
Thank you to all who came to, spoke at or helped sponsor either event for making it all possible.
For more photos from both events click HERE.