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The worthiest award-winners?

“It was a privilege”. Words often used in a fairly casual way. But I can think of none better to describe my contribution to the programme for the 2021 Royal College of Nursing Wales awards. 

In reading and editing the text of nominees, category by humbling category, I was wowed by the efforts of nursing professionals at the height of the pandemic. 

I was wowed by their dedication, skills, expertise, motivation, compassion, innovation and plain humanity.

Helping critically ill COVID-19 patients experience a more dignified death. Helping children with complex care needs die at home with their loved-ones. Encouraging more participants in groundbreaking haematology research trials. The award nominees all delivered awe-inspiring work at an incredibly pressured time.

It’s easy to forget the bigger picture when it comes to the NHS. You can be blinkered by statistics around waiting times, the glamorous drama of A&E often represented in film and television, or maybe your own personal experience. But there is an astonishing breadth of expertise within every single health board across Wales and the UK.

They share the same values of compassion and care which reflect the very best of people. They give hope when it might feel easier to be pessimistic and jaded.

Forget the glitz and glamour of award-winners in film, music, books, or virtually any other industry. These people are truly the heroes of the pandemic, and writing about their achievements was, yes, a privilege. Congratulations to everyone nominated, and to the event organisers for coordinating this important recognition.

I am very grateful for my partnership with Weltch Media in delivering this work.