Sunday, 15 May 2011

International Nurses Day, Bob Dylan,Football and Birthday's

May the 12th was International Nurses Day. It is a day when nurses all over the world celebrate nurses, nursing services and nursing accomplishments while commemorating the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth.

The international theme for 2011 was Closing the Gap: Increasing access and equity. Evidence suggests that effective access to health services can contribute to a person’s life expectancy and/or to the quality of life that they experience.

However health is not merely a commodity produced by health services. Health is socially determined, will be influenced by genetics and environment. It has long been recognised that the ability to achieve good health or, conversely, the risk of suffering ill health, is affected by socio-economic status, geography, employment, education, gender, sexual preference and a host of other elements that impact, both directly or indirectly on a person’s ability to achieve and maintain good health.

The International Council of Nurses believes that nurses have an important role in achieving health equity and developing a clear understanding of how the health sector can act to reduce health inequities. As the principal and, in some cases, the only group of health professionals providing primary health care in many of the most challenging settings, nurses are essential to improving equity and access to health care and adding quality to the outcome of care.

It was with these thoughts in mind that the School facilitated a conference to celebrate International Nurses Day this week. Led by Melanie, our ever enthusiastic International Lead, colleagues from across the School ensured that the day was a great success. Nearly 150 nurses from across the North West attended to share in the day, and speakers from around the world talked about both the history of nursing and nursing today as it can be seen in its many forms and focus.

Unfortunately, I could not stay for the whole day as I was also scheduled to participate in our College Executive Retreat. This was a two day retreat aimed at thinking strategically about the recent academic reconfiguration and the decision to move from three Schools to two Schools. The retreat was a productive one, and we were able to agree a way forward for each School and how these plans will be delivered over the next 12 months.

Dinner and bed was at the Radisson Edwardian Hotel in Manchester. This hotel stands on the site of the Free Trade Hall, indeed the original front facade of this building has been kept intact. The Free Trade Hall has a special place in the history of Manchester. The first hall was erected on the site where the infamous 'Peterloo Massacre' of 1819 took place.

The Free Trade Hall was the setting for important political events: the voices of Gladstone, Disraeli, Lloyd George and Churchill have all filled its cavernous spaces. It was also a place of entertainment. Charles Dickens, Oscar Wilde, Ella Fitzgerald the Halle Orchestra and Bob Dylan all played in the hall. For a fleeting moment, as I lay bed on Friday morning watching the surrounding Manchester City wake up and the sun rise, I wondered if Bob Dylan had also seen the city slowly coming to life when he was here.

Yesterday saw Manchester United secure their 19th Premier Championship a great day for all those who support MU – and for those who support Manchester City it was a great day for them too, MC gained the FA Cup - many congratulations to both teams and thier supporters.

And today I celebrate my birthday –  imperceptibly but unremittingly creeping towards 60, Hmm!