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Diversity key theme in this year's Nursing Conference

07 June 2019

On Friday (7 June 2019), we hosted our annual Nursing Conference in Twickenham Stadium. The theme circled around valuing diversity in practice and the day saw lots of positive discussions about how we’re doing as a Trust, and what we can do to further improve.

Chief Executive Carolyn Regan kicked off the proceedings by stating the strides we’re making, in terms of diversity, and concluded her speech by saying “Together, we can raise the bar for the next generation of nurses.” Her speech was followed by Stephanie Bridger, our Director of Nursing and Patient Experience, who focused on the importance of respecting and supporting each other.

We also welcomed some esteemed guests. We were delighted to welcome Professor Greta Westwood, the Chief Operating Officer of Florence Nightingale Foundation. She used her presentation to promote the scholarships the charity offers, which help nurses onto a pathway towards becoming leaders. “There’s nothing more exciting than meeting people you helped develop their career,” said the Professor.

Then we heard from Professor Oliver Shanley OBE who, after failing most of his GCEs followed by careers as a builder or maintenance engineer not working out, he branched out to nursing. Over 30 years later, he is now the Regional Chief Nurse (London) for NHS England and NHS Improvement. His journey is sure to inspire many people looking to work as a nurse, and we were pleased he came to share his story.

Our staff members also took the limelight to present the great work they’re doing. Practice Development Nurse, Jaide Mead, spoke about valuing diversity in a high secure hospital and how Broadmoor is breaking down barriers with the local community, through diversity. Linda Nazarko, Nurse Consultant in Physical Healthcare, spoke about her work in integrating mental and physical wellbeing. She poignantly concluded that “Holistic care enables patients to live well.”

Harry Stallwood and Dr Rana Rashed spoke about their work in raising LGBT+ awareness across the Trust, highlighting the work we do in order to safeguard nurses and service users who are part of this community. Focus then turned to nursing education where Stanley Okafor, a student nurse, spoke about how he’s benefitted from learning on the job. Our Director of Research and Development, Dr Samantha Scholtz, and Professor Elizabeth Barley of University of Surrey used their platform to encourage nurses in taking part in ground-breaking studies, arguing that by doing so, they can have a voice in influencing policy and improving patient care.

Tom Adams concluded the morning by talking about Ealing Community Partners, emphasising the point that this service aims to improve clinical outcomes for people across Ealing once it goes fully live in the summer.

The afternoon was spent with delegates taking part in a series of wellbeing sessions. In particular, we would like to thank The Cactus Club for organising a mass line dancing session. We also loved seeing dogs Connie and Hetty for the Pets in Practice session. And let’s not forget laughter yoga!

The day concluded with speeches from Sheffield Ward about how they developed an environment that values diversity in learning, while Ben Tabor and Donna Sloss spoke about how we’ve experienced hiring nurses from abroad.

The conference was a huge success and the turnout was immense. Many are already excited to attend next year’s conference.