International Nurses Day (Sunday 12 May) is a day dedicated to nurses across the globe. Today we are thanking our 1,391 compassionate, inclusive, and committed nurses at Team BSMHFT.

Our nurses make up around 30% of our workforce and today we’ll be recognising them and saying thank you for all they do. To help us with this, we have enlisted the support of our four Heads of Nursing Leona Tasab, Elizabeth Thurling, Sophia Fletcher, Zoe Cockbill, Chief Nurse Sarah Bloomfield and Acting Deputy Chief Nurse and Deputy Director of IPC, Patient Safety and Clinical Quality/ Governance , Lisa Pim who have each recorded their own personal messages of appreciation. 

As well as praising our nurses, the group also discuss why they wanted to join the profession and why recognising days like today is so important.

Sarah Bloomfield, who has been a nurse for 30 years this September, said:

International Nurses Day is a day to reflect on why we came into nursing, why we’re still here, and the difference that we make to people’s lives. Nationally, there are hundreds of thousands of nurses on the register, we may have different backgrounds but we’re all on the same register.

Days like International Nurses Day give us time to appreciate each other. Some of us have worked alongside colleagues on the worst shift you’ve ever had, but your colleagues make it bearable, and they get you through it and they make you want to come back again the next day.

Despite our challenging times, one thing that has never changed is our nurses’ dedication to providing the very best care to our service users, patients and their families across Birmingham and Solihull.

Please join us in thanking our nurses for everything they do. 

Sophia Fletcher, Head of Nursing for Acute and Urgent Care wanted to send a special message to the 358 nurses who make up her division. After working in a nursing home when she was only 14, Sophia knew that her future career was to support people in their journey to recovery. Fast forward to today, Sophia is still in a role that she loves, supporting vulnerable people with their journey towards mental health recovery. Watch her video to learn more!

“I’ve never wanted to do anything else – it defines me.”

Leona Tasab, Head of Nursing for our Specialities Division gives a special shoutout to the 239 nurses in her division today. A general nurse by background, Leona discusses what makes a mental health nurse so unique and the qualities they possess to ensure our patients, service users and their families feel supported every step of the way. Watch the full video to learn more about why Leona always wanted to be a nurse and why she has stayed in the profession since the late 90s.

“I wanted to give back where I took.”

Zoe Cockbill, Head of Nursing for Secure Care and Offender Health defines what it means to be a mental health nurse this International Nurses Day. Zoe shows her admiration for the 337 nurses in her division today whilst reflecting on her 23 year-long career. Zoe decided to pursue a career in mental health following her own lived experience of mental illness, and in her own words, she “wanted to give back” where she took after having experienced exceptional support from nurses. Watch the full video to hear from Zoe and what she thinks of our incredible workforce.

Lisa Pim, Acting Deputy Chief Nurse and Deputy Director of IPC, Patient Safety and Clinical Quality/ Governance proudly supports International Nurses Day today by sharing her appreciation in this special message to her colleagues. A nurse for 28 years and having background in physical healthcare nursing, Lisa’s eyes were opened to the unique skillsets our mental health nurses have. Lisa pays particular attention to the incredible amount of empathy and compassion that our nurses display and welcomes those who possess those qualities to pursue a career in nursing and join Team BSMHFT.

Liz Thurling, Head of Nursing for our Integrated Community Care and Recovery division says a huge thank you to the 392 nurses that make up her workforce. After being inspired by her mother, who was also a nurse, Liz qualified in mental health nursing 1995 and has never looked back! Liz recognises the hard work and the emotional and physical demand that her fellow nurses deal with on a daily basis and thanks them for their dedication and resilience to ensure vulnerable people are getting the best care.

Liz encourages those who are thinking of joining nursing to “go for it”, particularly if you want to help people recover and go on to live their best life.

“We give a bit of ourselves every time we look after our patients.”

Chief Nurse, Sarah Bloomfield extends her appreciation to each of the 1,391 nurses that make up Team BSMHFT and reflects on why a day like International Nurses Day is so important to celebrate. Sarah describes the difference that nurses make to people’s lives, whether that be a service user, their friend or a loved one. Nurses are often the people that are with us at every stage in our lives, and go through those emotions with us, good or bad, every step of the way. Over her near 30-year career, Lisa shares the changes she has seen to the profession and the life changing stories she has heard along the way.

The past few years have been a difficult time for NHS nurses, yet despite that, they still continue to provide care when we need them the most.

If you would like to share a story of appreciation about one of our nurses, please share this with us on social media, we would love to hear it!

A special thank you to all our nurses and RNAs who sent through pictures of themselves proudly sporting their NHS uniform – we appreciate each and every one of you!

A message from nurse Carl Richards:

“I have been a nurse for 42 years now, initially working as a Nursing Assistant and progressing to a Senior Manager Role, currently working as a CPN within Home Treatment Team.

“I have seen many changes during my time as a nurse and still have the zest for Nursing after all these years, I still get a buzz from visiting patients and supporting them to recover.

“I still very much enjoy learning and believe that we are never too old to learn something new and I will continue to be a nurse for as long as possible! I feel very proud of my profession and my message to all nurses would be to feel the same, keep providing quality of care and embrace the Trust Values.”