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A Typical Essential Worker’s Week?

By Life6 Comments

There are many types of essential workers out there. As a Nurse, I am one. The national Coronavirus updates by the Government and NHS England change day by day, as do our local updates. I want to give you a walk through of my week, to give you an idea of what it has been like.

Monday – A very mixed day. An early start and I hadn’t slept well. A colleague brought in a bacon bap, which would have been enough to make my day. But then we got a huge delivery of food from the local Nandos for us NHS staff for free. I was overwhelmed by the kindness of both my colleague and the Nandos staff.

It was a pleasant day weather wise, as it would be for the rest of the week. But on my drive home I was so disappointed to see so many people out when the Government had told people to stay at home.

Tuesday – I start my day by checking for Coronavirus updates on our NHS Tust’s intranet. This will become daily practice over the course of the week as I try to remain up to date at all times. I’m working from home today, as I’m on a rare non-clinical day. It feels weird not to drive into work, I guess this is what all the other home workers must be feeling.

Social distancing starts.

Wednesday – Today I complete an appraisal with my colleague. The best thing about managing staff is watching them grow and develop. The feedback I gave in the appraisal was extremely positive and I used a coaching approach to look at planning for the next quarter and year.

Although I don’t do appraisals every day, there was a feeling of everything being normal. This was despite the challenges of implementing plans around Cornonavirus around the hospital.

Thursday – The day was over before I knew it. I spent a lot of time getting up to date with tasks that I needed to get done. I also put together a rota for the next few weeks (obviously subject to change). Overall a productive day. I got home, put my lounge wear on and began to relax. Then I heard the noise of horses hooves outside.

Who the heck is riding a horse when they should be at home? I thought. I looked out of my window and was touched to see several neighbours clapping for the NHS and other essential workers. It left me feeling appreciated, privileged to do the job and honoured to work in our NHS.

Friday – Today I spent the day covering the office phone, bleeps and mobiles, ready to give telephone advice if needed. Good fortune appeared to smile down on me because nobody called or bleeped. This meant I managed to get some clinical auditing done.

I hope this post has been of interest. Write soon,


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Why I’m thinking of joining one of the TUC unions…

By Political, ThinkingNo Comments

The TUC (Trades Union Congress) represents 58 trade unions and is set up to lobby the government on all sort of social and economic issues that effect workers with in the represented unions in a unified way. Many of TUC member unions represent public sector workers including: teachers, nurses, council workers, police, etc.

I’m a public sector worker and what I see from the government greatly greatly concerns me. I’m seeing massive budget already ahead of the governments budget review in October. This means seeing colleagues at risk of loosing their jobs and I’m at risk too, we all are. I’ve trained and qualified as a Nurse and a Youth Worker so if I’m made redundant where I am going to work? I doubt the private sector has many jobs for Nurses or Youth Workers. But of equal importance, if not more important, the cuts mean front line services for vulnerable people in society will be adversely effected.

Now I know the budget deficit needs reducing, there’s no disagreement on that from me, but I do disagree with making cuts that in my opinion are too deep and too quick. Services will be effected on a massive scale and I believe it will lead to a substantial rise in unemployment. The TUC’s response to the government cuts are to organise coordinated strikes so that all union workers are striking at the same time. It’s not about creating the maximum amount disruption to the public, although I have to admit there will be some, it’s about showing unity to the government. It’s about telling the government that we disagree the cuts need to be made so deep and so quickly.

I’ve not been in a union for some years, but the TUC’s response to strike is one I agree with. How else can we get through to a government which ironically isn’t listening to the people who they are suppose to work for? And that’s why I’m thinking of joining one of the TUC unions.

Write soon,


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Nursing to become a Degree only Profession

By Health5 Comments

In the News a few weeks ago (see BBC News – Nursing to become graduate entry) it was announced that Nurses from 2013 will only be able to train at Degree level. I have mixed feelings about this.

I am proud to be a Nurse. I originally trained as a Diploma student purely for financial reasons. In doing the Diploma the NHS paid all of my tuition fees and gave me a small monthly bursary. If this had not been on offer it would have not been financially viable for me to train. My fellow Diploma students were mostly in their late twenties or early thirties and had young families, the tuition fees and the small bursary enabled them to train. These mature students all reported that they wouldn’t have been able to afforded financially to do the Degree course as they would have had to pay all their own tuition fees and received no bursary. My fellow students I saw on the wards and found them to be caring and ultimately became very knowledgeable competent Nurses.

Social Work is a graduate only profession, meaning that all Social Workers trained after a certain point are degree qualified. Making Nursing a degree level profession adds credibility to the profession, increases Nurses knowledge and overall will enhance patient care. Indeed I have recently gone back to University to upgrade my Diploma to a Degree (see Back to University). All Nurses would agree that enhancing patient care is always a positive thing. So there are lots of positives to making Nursing a degree level profession.

My fear is that people don’t always go in to Nursing as their first profession (i.e. straight from school / college) such as my forma colleagues who were mature students who struggle financially. And even some people who are not mature students such as myself couldn’t have afforded to go in to Nursing if it was a Degree only profession. Therefore we potentially could miss out on some people who have the potential to be good Nurses (i.e. have a caring nature, a desire to make a difference, etc.). So my message to the Nursing and Midwifery Council, the NHS, the educational institutions and the government is:
Continue to make Nurse training financially viable for people from all walks of life regardless of: gender, sexuality, race, religion & disability.

Take Care,


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Petrol Prices

By Political2 Comments

Hi All,

Petrol & disel prices are set to rise by another 2p a litre according to I heard on one report that it was to raise funds for public services. We already pay more than most other countries and the majority of the price paid at the pump is due to tax. Do we simply not pay enough tax to cover these public services? Council tax, road tax, VAT. I am sure we could redistribute funds we have rather than add to the tax payers burden.

Buy your petrol before Tuesday 1st September 09, as that’s when the 2p tax is being added. Fill up before they raise the cost of petrol and disel even more.

Earlier this week I heard reports on Radio 1 that some people are really struggling with the cost of living and the economic resession at the moment. I have noticed the sharp rise in prices on essentials and am really starting to see the considerably less miles I get for the same amount of petrol as I did a year ago.

It seems that Gordon Brown and his MP’s can manage financially on the £65, 000 (plus expenses) they get. Well Gordon and your friends – that is NOT the average wage. Most people are not fortunate to be on this amount of money. So don’t be supprised if the media are reporting that people are struggling financially, and don’t stratch your head and ask why. Or be prepared (which is likely to happen anyway) to give No. 10 to David Cameron.

This effects us all, not just the car drivers as the papers have reported. If you get a bus to work – there ticket prices will have to reflect this increase in petrol and disel. You may think the only people it doesn’t effect is thosse who can walk or cycle to work. Wrong! Your goods that you buy in the supermarket all have to be transported there on trucks, trucks that use petrol or disel. So it is likely that ALL of our cost of living is set to rise.

Blog politically soon,


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