The 79th AGM of the League got off to a flying start with a service in the chapel attended by many members. The service was led, as usual, by GOSH chaplain Jim Linthicum. The singing this year was exceptionally good and could be heard far and wide.
The venue change for the AGM to The Royal National Hotel meant a little further to walk but was well worth it as there was a great deal more space, particularly at lunch time. There were 125 attendees who over cups of coffee caught up with old friends and met new ones. The raffle, mug and Christmas card sales helped to boost the coffers of the league.
In keeping with tradition we invited two speakers to tell us of current projects in the world of paediatrics. Our first speaker was Marcus Wootton who works for the Royal College of Paediatrics and Health and is a very keen supporter of the work of the charity Help 4 Hurting Children. With his wealth of knowledge he has been instrumental in resourcing and supporting aide for the Malago Hospital in Uganda. He gave a thought provoking presentation on the work he and the charity have done. The proceeds of the chapel collection were donated to the charity.
Our second speaker was Jim Blair who works at GOSH. He is the only Consultant Nurse Intellectual (learning) Disabilities based in a hospital. His work is pivotal to the improvement of the hospital experience for children with learning disabilities and their families. There is more information about Jim's pioneering work on the GOSH website.
The speakers are always very well received and appreciated by the league members. Although a considerable majority of the members at the AGM no longer work there remains a very keen interest in the ever changing world of paediatrics and nursing.
Catching up with old friends continued over the delicious 3 course lunch. We are always very grateful to the generosity extended to us by Richard Walduck owner of the hotel and Liz Blood league member who helps with the organisation. 5 sets used the day to get together.
The Business part of the official AGM was well attended. It was a particularly special AGM as we said farewell to our president Susan Macqueen who has give a huge amount of her time to the league and will be greatly missed. Susan will be continuing as vice chairman. Jan Saxton, vice chairman, also stepped down this year and thanks were given for all her hard work and dedication.
The league's new president Imelda Charles-Edwards was warmly welcomed by everyone. Meldy was a member of the October 1967 set and has worked in paediatrics clinically and in nurse education.
Juliette Greenwood, Chief Nurse Great Ormond Street Hospital was unfortunately unable to join us but sent a very full report. Current issues for example Electric Patient Record and Referral to Treatment are at the forefront of thinking at GOSH and are given very serious consideration by the senior management team. There have been some significant changes in the management structure. There are now 2 main divisions in the hospital The Charles West Division and the J M Barrie division. GOSH continues to work closely with London South Bank University to implement changes in nurse education and the development of the new post of Nursing Associate. As always there is continuing development in the work of the nurses at GOSH with new roles introduced.
All the officers of the league gave up to date reports. All is going well. Finances are sound and membership is healthy with several new members joining as a result of the very successful study day that the league put on in April 2016. Special thanks to all the link members who continue to work so hard in their own areas.
Thanks once again to all those that attended the day and everyone who continues to support the league.
THE 80TH NURSES' LEAGUE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING will be held on Saturday 30 September 2017 at The Royal National Hotel, 38-51 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0DG.
Further details will appear here nearer the time.
OUR NEW PRESIDENT
(from the address given by Imelda Charles-Edwards to the 2016 AGM)
I will introduce myself to those who do not know me. I was in the October 1967 set. I became a Staff Nurse and later a Sister on a general surgical ward at GOS. I also worked as a Sister on a medical ward in Oxford. After training to teach I spent 4 years at UCH School of Nursing before returning to GOS as Senior Tutor for curriculum development. This was at the time leading up to and then introducing Project 2000.
I became Head of the School of Nursing at the time of the move to higher education. The planned move in the Institute of Child Health collapsed as I took over and we had to find an alternative university home. This lead to a move to London South Bank University where I worked for 4 years before moving to the English National Board. This gave me amongst other things a unique opportunity to visit children's services from Paediatric Intensive Care to Community Children's Nursing teams and Children's Hospices. I then led the children's degree course by distance learning at the RCN before retiring. Since then I have been trustee at the Children's Trust Tadworth.
I am delighted and honoured to be asked to be President of the League to give me the opportunity to give something back to the place that has meant so much to me and has defined my career. I will give my energy to doing as good a job for all the members as I can.
PAST, PRESENT and FUTURE
To raise the League's profile and hopefully to attract more members, a day conference was decided upon to explore the many changes that have taken place in Nursing since the foundation of GOSH took place.
Following the decision to organise the event, Susan Macqueen and Di Robertshaw donned their thinking caps and soon six excellent speakers had been charmed into participating. Their task was to speak on the Past, Present and Future of nursing. The planning for the event was all a bit helter-skelter and involved a number of meetings in The Lagoon and many email exchanges but on the day, much to the relief of the organisers, everything proceeded like clockwork, a good demonstration of nursing teamwork.
Some of the speakers
All the speakers gave stimulating and passionate insights into their particular area of expertise. Jan Saxton offered a moving address about the plight of children around the time that GOSH opened its doors in 1852. She described the inspirational work of Thomas Coram and Charles West.
Susan Macqueen reminded us all of early aseptic techniques and then brought us up to date with the current thinking on preventing infection in healthcare. Liz Smith, Advanced Lead Nurse Practitioner in the Cardiac Unit, continued the theme of change, describing the improved prospects of children born with half a heart. She explained how there are now plans to introduce a virtual ward in the patient's home to increase parents' confidence and allow earlier discharge.
Following a splendid lunch with plenty of chat and reminiscences, Una McCrann talked about her specialist unit which deals with children with feeding disorders, and how attitudes have changed.
Kate Kahir discussed the massive improvements in the treatment of haemophilia, and how with early diagnosis and treatment, life expectancy is now so much longer. A recurring theme during the day was the plight of children in developing countries who have far shorter life expectancies than in the UK. Kate's excellent use of photographs affected many hearts in the audience.
The day was rounded off by Faith Gibson, Clinical Professor of Children and Young People's Cancer Care. She raised many provocative and strategic questions about the nature of the modern nursing profession; for example: has the profession moved too far away from the bedside and is the focus of a nurse's time on the right issues?
Many, many thanks to all those who gave their valuable time to speak to us, and to all the attendees. There were over 60 in total, with friends and colleagues meeting again after many years. The feedback on the day from participants was enthusiastic, and the Committee is considering what they may try next.
The Norfolk Link Members
Once again the Norfolk Link Members have had a year of monthly coffee mornings, just omitting January and August. We enjoy hearing each other's news and also news of other members who may no longer join us for various reasons.
In November we again met in Bressingham with some of the Suffolk members and had a very jolly lunch with them. This is becoming something of an annual tradition now and is much enjoyed by those of us that go.
In December the Norfolk members had lunch together at our usual venue for coffee, namely The Forget-me-not café in St Michael-at Plea in Norwich. It was very pleasant to have a pre-Christmas lunch together in the café where we are always made to feel welcome.
We are always happy to see Suffolk members who live on our borders and who may not be able to get to the Suffolk meetings.
Norfolk Link Member
Recruitment of Link Members
Link Members are still needed for these counties:
- Channel Islands
- Isles of Scilly
- Scotland and the Isle of Lewis
If you feel you could undertake this role, please send your details to Christine Stone, Membership Secretary. She will then send to you the details and information you will require.