The World Health Organization (WHO) declared 2020 as the Year of the Nurse and Midwife and this has been extended through 2021. This year is an opportunity to recognise the compassion, commitment and expert clinical care provided by nurses and midwives over an incredibly diverse range of settings. Their extraordinary contributions throughout the global pandemic have attracted justified praise. Today is WHO World Health Day and this year’s theme is building a fairer, healthier world for everyone. Today we are calling on the Scottish Government to commit to improving health by investing in nursing.
For our part in building a fairer, healthier world QNIS continues to support community nurses to improve the health and wellbeing of the people of Scotland however we understand the need to consider this within a global framework. It is only through investment in nursing education, jobs, and leadership that we can reduce inequities and raise the profile of nursing to a global level. The 2021 Queen’s Nurse Programme is now underway supporting a new cohort of nurses to find their voice and hone their leadership skills. For the first time, the new candidates are joined by an additional cohort of Learning Disability nurses in a programme funded by the Burdett Trust. The Learning Disability cohort will be working together to co-produce a shared development issue around the theme of criminal justice.
Eight of the 2020 Queen’s Nurse cohort continue to engage with Nursing Now’s Nightingale Challenge, set up to empower the next generation of nurse leaders and health advocates. One of the nurses was invited to attend the WHO’s Strategic Directions Consultation for Nursing and Midwifery earlier this year. In the coming months, they will all be sharing their stories on how this work has supported nursing and nurses globally and how it has increased the impact they have individually as nurses in Scotland.
This year QNIS has already launched a new round of Catalysts for Change projects funded in partnership with the National Lottery Community Fund, resumed the previous year’s projects which had been extended due to the pandemic and started a new programme of work Healthier Pregnancies, Better Lives promoting awareness of FASD and preconception health. Alongside this QNIS are exploring the importance of planetary health and how we might engage with sustainability projects to promote greener healthcare and climate action in our networks and beyond.
COVID-19 has shown us all our fragility but more than that it has highlighted the vulnerability of the most marginalised people in our society. Those people and communities already suffering the worst health inequalities have been hit hardest. It’s time for us to challenge these inequalities. We can all do our part in creating a world where access to health is fairer and more sustainable.
For more information about the World Health Day and the WHO’s 2021 campaign please visit their website.