Professor Greta Westwood, CEO of the Florence Nightingale Foundation, today thanked the thousands of nurses and midwives who went above and beyond for patients and their families during the COVID-19 pandemic. In her Christmas message, Professor Westwood acknowledged the immense contribution of nurses and midwives this past year and spoke about how they courageously dealt with the uncertainty and unpredictability of 2020.

She also praised the professions, referencing the skills and expertise with which nurses and midwives handled the pandemic and led from the frontline, calling them trailblazers and leaders in their own right. She compared their contribution to that of Florence Nightingale, the pioneer of social distancing, who herself saved the lives of British soldiers on the frontline of the Crimean War.

Professor Greta Westwood said: ‘2020 was the Year of the Nurse and Midwife and each and every one of you has proven this by being pioneers, nurse specialists, midwifery experts and leaders during the pandemic. Nurses and midwives have gone above and beyond for patients and their families, providing emotional support, expert care and supporting fellow colleagues when needed’ reminding them that they are Florence Nightingale’s legacy today.

She also spoke of the Foundation going from strength to strength during the pandemic and their success in implementing a special mental health and wellbeing support service for nurses and midwives working on the frontline of COVID-19 – the Nightingale Frontline Leadership Support Service. The service provides a safe space for all nurses and midwives to come together and share their concerns and fears about the pandemic, and the Foundation in turn offered emotional and practical support to them. Professor Westwood reassured nurses and midwives that ‘we may be socially distanced, but we are still together.’

Professor Westwood’s full Christmas message can be viewed here:

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