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Annual Nursing and Midwifery Conference is great success

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Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (OUH) celebrated International Nurses and Midwives Day at its annual Nursing and Midwifery Conference on Friday 10 May 2019, to congratulate nurses and midwives, recognise all their hard work and give them the opportunity to share examples of excellence with colleagues.

Over 200 nurses and midwives  attended from different hospital departments and enjoyed the opportunity to take part in the consultation for the new Trust's strategy, as well as learning more about achievements and improvements their colleagues were making across the Trust.

Charlotte Donohue, Deputy Sister at the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, said: "It's exciting to see so many people passionate about nursing. It really boosts our morale. I will take away some of the improvements nurses are making in other departments, as I can see that they could be implemented and make a difference in my department too."

Sol Hughes, Short Stay Ward Sister, said: "This annual event is a fantastic opportunity to meet nurses from other specialties who we don't see very often during our usual work days, share the knowledge and just feel recognised for the work we do."

The event had a special focus on staff wellbeing, with a presentation by Staff Health and Wellbeing Promotion Specialist Anna Hinton and Lead Nurse for Safe Staffing Rachel Adams being among the most popular. Ms Hinton and Ms Adams highlighted the importance of 'healing our tired minds' and gave useful advice on how staff can ease stress and take care of themselves and their colleagues. "Thinking, pausing and recharging as well as smiling – they said – are key to building resilience and delivering excellent care."

OUH Chief Executive Bruno Holthof, who attended a panel discussion in the afternoon, said: "Staff happiness is really paramount in our corporate culture. We want our hospitals to be a respectful environment, where we all care for each other. This will make our staff happy and more likely to stay at OUH longer."

Other presentations included advances in the delivery of breech babies (where the baby arrives at the end of the pregnancy with the feet ahead); the introduction of a sensor mat that alerts staff to movements in patients who are at risk of falling; the improvement in digital documentation which will help the Trust become paperless; and insights on international nurse recruitment.

At the end of a presentation about a preceptorship programme to support newly qualified nurses when they start their job at the Trust, Chief Nurse Sam Foster presented awards to the best preceptors at OUH: Midwife Rose Hunter was crowned 'Preceptor of the Year' while the Paediatric Team at the West Wing won 'Best Preceptor Team'.

OUH Chief Nursing Officer Sam Foster said: "It's been a wonderful day of recognition and celebration of excellence. I was impressed by the level of engagement from our nurses and midwives which will enable us to shape the Nursing and Midwifery contributions to the Trust's strategy.

I would like to thank all the nurses and midwives who came to present all the improvements they have made in their areas of expertise, from digital to recruitment, wellbeing, patient safety and beyond. Their contribution is highly valued and will benefit the whole Trust."

The celebration went on with special praise for nurses and midwives who have reached 40 years of service in the NHS. The midwives and maternity support workers who won the Maternity Voices Partnership awards, voted for by members of the public, also received recognition.

OUH Chair, Professor Sir Jonathan Montgomery, said: "It's uplifting for me see all the good things that happen in this Trust. This reinforces my choice to join OUH, as these are the kind of people I enjoy working with - bright people who can get things done."