The End of my Current Representative Role

After what I thought was just over a year, my term on the Nursing and Midwifery Board as a Staff Representative, my role is officially finished. Well, it turns out it was actually 2 years in the end! I first joined in February 2022, after quite a lengthy application process, and it was originally meant to be for a year. Well, after a year and a half, I started to reach out to the Divisional Lead, the Head of Midwifery and her colleagues to reallocate two staff representatives. It took a little while, but I pushed it and the position went out in February, as I started my new role which I will talk more about next week. 

I started the role just after peak Covid-19 so restrictions were of course, still in place. As such, all the meetings we held on MS Teams. We had talked about slowly opening it back up to be face-to-face but to be honest, I really enjoyed the flexibility of MS Teams and being able to work from home. I think it also saved 1 hour of travelling. I got paid 3 hours a month to attend. The meetings lasted 2 hours and then staff representatives had a 30 minute debrief and discussion afterwards, followed by 30 minutes to write up and email colleagues for updates and information, which often took much longer. 

The Nursing and Midwifery Board is a large scale, valuable monthly meeting which includes Divisional Leads of each area within the Trust, alongside presenters and field leads. Each month has a very different and full agenda. The repeated themes tended to relate to staffing levels, student feedback and diversity. 

In all honesty, the first few months were really difficult to understand. They were fast-paced, busy and from an outside felt very chaotic. As I slowly got use to the pace and the language used, I felt more comfortable getting involved in discussions. I loved having the opportunity afterwards especially, to discuss with other Staff Representatives and feedback to the Assistant Director of Nursing. Having the individual time with her was a great opportunity, and she was a great link to be able to get answers quickly. 

Her feedback to me after the first year was lovely:
Hannah has been a proactive and professional clinical midwifery representative on Nursing and Midwifery Board for the past 12 months. This Board is the highest professional decision making committee for Nursing and Midwifery in our Trust. Hannah represents clinical midwives and the role provides two way feedback and communication on key professional issues and decisions.  Hannah contributes, engages in debate and provides feedback within discussions with her other Staff Nurse representatives in post meeting debriefs , she has also taken opportunity to share relevant clinical perspective to positively impact on decision making, strategy and policy within the Board meeting. As part of her ongoing leadership development, I would encourage Hannah to continue to develop her confidence in sharing her professional experience and views as a clinical midwife within senior decision making committees.

Overall, I did appreciate being involved and I loved the insights I gained from the position. I did find that I still didn't understand fully some of the more complex discussions, and therefore sometimes they did go over my head. I also enjoyed being able to share key, important updates with colleagues. However, I would say that I found the Board more relevant to the Nursing side of staff, which is understandable given that they make up the bigger majority, but I think it would have been nice if more Midwifery staff were involved. Unfortunately, the majority of the times, they had other meeting priorities but nevertheless, I overall found it a great learning experience.