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Northumbria launches new nursing strategy as world marks International Nurses Day

Tuesday, 12 May, 2015
Northumbria launches new nursing strategy as world marks International Nurses Day

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust is marking International Nurses Day today (Tuesday 12 May) with the launch of a strategy which outlines the importance of compassionate frontline nursing care.

Nurses from across the trust gathered to officially launch the vision, which sees a renewed focus on patients being at the heart of everything nurses do, on high quality care and the support available to help nurses develop.

Created in partnership with nurses, midwives and health visitors across the trust, the vision also showcases the different members of the nursing team and recognises the key role healthcare assistants play in delivering high quality patient care by renaming them ‘nursing assistants’.

The strategy is centred on the trust’s five core values of ‘respect’, ‘everyone’s contribution counts’, ‘responsibility and accountability’, ‘patients first’ and ‘safe and high quality care’ and highlights the vital role nurses play, tending to patients’ every needs on the wards and in the community, often at a time when they feel at their most vulnerable.

Northumbria Healthcare is one of the largest trusts in the country with more than 5,000 nurses, midwives and health visitors caring for patients in hospitals and in the community across Northumberland and North Tyneside, covering some of the most rural areas in England.

Rosemary Stephenson, director of nursing at Northumbria Healthcare, said: “All our nurses, midwives and health visitors do an absolutely fantastic job caring for our patients every minute of every day with the utmost compassion and professionalism and we are immensely proud of every one of them.

“Today, on International Nurses Day, we have set out our vision to continue to strive to deliver outstanding care to benefit our patients, many of whom are elderly and vulnerable, across Northumberland and North Tyneside.

“The roles of nurses, midwives and health visitors continue to evolve to meet the changing needs of healthcare and our patients, their families and carers and, as a trust, we are committed to supporting them every step of the way to help them develop.

“It is immensity important for us to recognise the contribution of each and every member of our teams and by changing the name of our healthcare assistants to nursing assistants, we are publicly acknowledging the valuable role they play in helping us deliver high quality care to our patients.”

Mary Younger has worked as a healthcare assistant with the trust for seven-and-a-half years and is now known as a ‘nursing assistant’.

Mary, who works in emergency care at North Tyneside General Hospital, said: “The role of healthcare assistant has developed over the years and we are a key part of the nursing team.

“Working as part of the wider team, alongside and under the supervision of the qualified nurses, we all have a role to play in helping patients to have the best experience possible.

“I am delighted that our enhanced role is being publicly recognised by this change of name and look forward to continuing to develop my skills further.”

Another one of the new ‘nursing assistants’ is Rebecca Lawrence who works on the female surgery ward at North Tyneside General Hospital.

Rebecca started as a healthcare apprentice in 2012 and became a healthcare assistant two years later.

The new role of ‘nursing assistants’ comes after the trust launched its own bespoke training programme, the ‘care certificate’.

International Nurses Day is celebrated on 12 May each year – the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth – and marks the difference nurses make to people’s lives.

The trust regularly recruits nurses to join its award-winning teams across Northumberland and North Tyneside. For current vacancies visit