Message from The Master – 27th April 2020

To the remarkable nurses who are Freemen and Members of The Guild of Nurses,

We know now that 2020 really is going to be remembered as The Year of the Nurse and Midwife. It will go down in history as an example of teamwork, organisation and professionalism to the highest degree. When we are asked to look after the sick, this is just what nurses do best - and without question.

By now, many of you will have been redeployed; asked to re-register and go back to work after some time away from clinical practice; and others will be volunteering in all sorts of roles providing support for patients, their relatives and co-workers. I have spoken to some of you who are embracing the challenge and are, of course, proud of what you can do to make a difference. But there are others who are anxious and worried for themselves and their families as well as those of us who are unable to do any of this and feel guilty and frustrated. This is not an easy time for our profession but, as ever, we come together, when necessary, to support and care for each other.

As I said in my last email, some of our Freemen have made contact by phone and mail with those who have had to self-isolate and we are still in touch with many who asked for continued support. Some who have had to give up the community activities they enjoy so much are finding ways to keep busy, but we have heard from others who are alone or struggling with health conditions.

I would repeat the offer I made in my previous message – if you would like someone to talk to, in confidence, we have a small number of experienced nurses who have put their names forward and who are ready to hear from you – please email en*******@gu***********.uk if we can help in any way.

The Guild responded promptly to a call for financial contributions to support the NHS Livery Kitchen Initiative. Organized by the Worshipful Company of Drapers, this is directed at supplying and delivering hot meals to Covid-19 staff in hospitals across London. Our Charitable Trust also supported this initiative and is continuing to work with its partners in providing ongoing education and benevolence.

The Court and committees have held virtual meetings and conducted the business of the Guild in a new way – even I have managed it! However, I am afraid that the Annual Assembly, planned for May 6th has had to be postponed and will now be held on October 5th after the Court meeting in the afternoon.

With regard to the social events scheduled to take place later in the year, we have reluctantly taken the decision to postpone the weekend at Embley Park and to move it forward to September 2021. I am hoping that the annual Church Service will go ahead as planned on October 14th. It will be an especially moving experience this year as we renew our commitment to our profession in the heart of the City.

With very best wishes
The Guild of Nurses