Home / Resources & Guidance / Letter From Minister for Social Care on International Nurses Day

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Dear social care nursing colleagues

As we celebrate International Nurses Day 2023, it is only right we say a huge and heartfelt “thank you” for all you do to support individuals, families and loved ones, 365 days a year. We are in awe of your dedication, compassion and commitment.

As social care nurses, you bring immense skills, knowledge and experience to the wider care workforce. Indeed, your professionalism was never more needed or respected during the COVID19 pandemic and for that you should feel immense pride. As Minister for Care, I was delighted to appoint the first Chief Nurse for Adult Social Care, Deborah Sturdy. Thanks in no small part to her wisdom, vision and leadership, recognition of your work and value is gaining pace and profile.

In 2021, we launched the Chief Nurse for Adult Social Care Awards, celebrating great colleagues delivering exceptional care across all care settings (now expanded to include team recognition). In 2022, the first leadership programme for global majority nurses was delivered in association with the Florence Nightingale Foundation.

This year, social care nursing advisory boards, professional forums where colleagues can share advice, knowledge and skills with their NHS counterparts, are being established in every integrated care board (ICB) in England. Meanwhile, CRED Talks, the research talk series for front line social care nurses, debuted this year and the appointment of the first Professor of Social Care Nursing is
also expected soon.

I know the last three years have been especially challenging for the social care nursing profession – and the wider care sector. Many of you will have lost residents, friends, colleagues and relatives to the pandemic and felt the domestic effects of multiple global crises. However, the way you have responded to contagion, resourcing issues and the continued curve balls of the modern world has been nothing short of incredible. I firmly believe, though, better times lie ahead. Following the recent call for evidence, the Department of Health and Social Care, in collaboration with Skills for Care and people who work in and draw on care, will launch the first Care Workforce Pathway later this year. This will be a new, national definition of the skills, knowledge, values and behaviours needed to perform the many varied and exciting roles available.

We’ll be setting out exciting and fulfilling career paths and helping new and existing care colleagues make journeys of professional and personal fulfilment. It’s part of the wider goals of Next Steps: people at the heart of care, our reforming agenda, which seeks to empower both carers and the cared for as they navigate the most important milestones in their lives. Supporting our registered nursing workforce also remains a priority. To maintain their skills sets and support their revalidation, we are delighted to announce that, as of Autumn 2023, we will be making sure every nurse has access to funding support for their continuous professional development (CPD). Further details will follow in the summer. Once again, it is an honour and privilege to celebrate your achievements on International Nurses Day. Thank you for all your hard work, compassion and skill as you work tirelessly to transform so many lives for the better.