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The honour of compassionate care

I am proud to be part of a profession which connects with individuals, families and communities at times of joy in their lives, as well as vulnerable and difficult times.

Our profession plays a vital role in the life of the nation. It is an honour and a privilege to provide compassionate care in busy, demanding and sometimes emotionally-challenging environments.

Nurses, midwives and others in the health and care professions are often described as ‘unsung heroes’. However, nominating people for an honour enables us to sing a bit louder.

The honours system is a way to find, celebrate, and encourage great examples. An honour recognises an individual, the team they work in and, by extension, our profession.

The New Year Honours List saw 18 members of our profession recognised. I am grateful that two of those people, Teresa Chinn MBE and Matthew Hodson MBE, have shared their thoughts about what this means to them:

“It was a huge honour to find out that I had been nominated for an MBE and I am very proud of this, especially as it was for services to respiratory care which I am very passionate about. I hope with this award I can continue to champion respiratory care and ensure the importance of this is highlighted at every contact. Nothing happens in isolation and I work with a fantastic team without which none of this would be possible.”

Matthew Hodson MBE, Nurse Consultant.

“I was totally overwhelmed when I found out that I was being made an MBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours list for services to nursing.  It meant the world to me that not only had people taken the time to put my name forward but also that the work I do in bringing nurses together using social media has been recognised. I love nursing and I love pushing forward social media as a way for nurses to connect and develop. I feel honoured to be able to do the work I do and even more so that others feel it has value too.”

Teresa Chinn MBE, RN & Social Media Specialist.

I encourage you to consider colleagues around you and others you know, to think about the impact their work is having and the responsibilities they take on, how others might learn from them, and to look at nominating them for an honour.

See more details and information about the honours process.  The information covers questions to consider before nominating someone, as well as how to make your nomination strong, and the steps in the process.

Jane Cummings

Professor Jane Cummings is the Chief Nursing Officer for England and Executive Director at NHS England.

Before progressing into general management, Jane specialised in Emergency Care. She has held a wide variety of clinical and managerial roles including Director of Commissioning, Director of Nursing and Deputy Chief Executive.

In February 2004, she became the National Lead for emergency care agreeing and implementing the 98% operational standard. She has also worked as the nursing advisor for emergency care. In January 2005, she was appointed as the National Implementation Director for ‘Choice’ and ‘Choose and Book’.

Jane moved to NHS North West in November 2007 where she held executive responsibility for the professional leadership of nursing, quality, performance as well as QIPP, commissioning and for a time Deputy Chief Executive Officer. In October 2011, she was appointed to the role of Chief Nurse for the North of England SHA Cluster.

She was appointed as Chief Nursing Officer for England in March 2012 and started full time in June 2012. Jane is the professional lead for all nurses and midwives in England (with the exception of public health) and published the ‘6Cs’ and ‘Compassion in Practice’ in December 2012, followed by publishing the ‘Leading Change, Adding Value’ framework in May 2016.

Jane has executive oversight of maternity, patient experience, learning disability and, in January 2016, became executive lead for Patient and Public Participation.

She was awarded Doctorates by Edge Hill University and by Bucks New University, and she is a visiting professor at Kingston University and St George’s University, London.

She is also Director and trustee for Macmillan Cancer Support and a clinical Ambassador for the Over the Wall Children’s Charity where she volunteers as a nurse providing care for children affected by serious illnesses.

Follow Jane on Twitter: @JaneMCummings.

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