Salisbury Foundation Trust

Celebrating the work of Nurses and Midwives in poetry

Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust held a daylong celebration of Nurses and Midwives, combining the national Day of the Midwife and Nurses Day.

Besides a day of activities to thank staff, two poems are being released that reflect the work of our nurses and midwives who, like NHS staff across the hospital, have faced a challenging year as they responded to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As part of the Trust's reflections on the impact of COVID-19, poet Martin Figura has been commissioned to write a collection of poems based on interviews he conducted with staff across the hospital this spring. The project is made possible by generous funding from The Stars Appeal.

The first of the poems, 'My Name is Mercy', was released earlier this week, dedicated to nurses working on COVID-19 wards and ‘Nightshift’, dedicated to those that work through the night, with Martin recorded reading them.

Stacey Hunter, Chief Executive of Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Nursing and midwifery teams are the beating heart of the hospital, supporting and sharing the joy of new life, caring for patients of all ages, with breaks and fractures, complex and chronic conditions and terminal diagnosis. It is with nurses and midwives that we say hello to new loved ones and say our goodbyes.”

The poetry project is engaging with staff from across the hospital to explore their own personal reflections on the pandemic. Besides Nurses and Midwives, Martin has been talking with frontline staff and those supporting frontline services, staff that have spent the year working from home, those that are managing end of life care, as well as staff that have been communicating with their colleagues and the public about how the Trust has been responding to the pandemic and are tasked with announcing the ever-growing number of deaths.

Martin said: “It is an honour to be given the fearsome responsibility to shape a vivid and honest response to those intense experiences and sacrifices.”

The text of the poems is here:

'My Name is Mercy'

Morning my darling, my name is Mercy
I'm your nurse for today, how are you?
Today is the nineteenth of January
The sun is breaking through
I'm your nurse for today, how are you?
The outlook should be positive
The sun is breaking through
Your wife knows you're here, she sends her love
The outlook should be positive
You're doing well, you’re safe, you're really safe
Your wife knows you're here, she sends her love
Would you like us to phone your wife?
You're doing well, you’re safe, you're really safe
If you can hear me, squeeze my hand
Would you like us to phone your wife
It is difficult, I understand
If you can hear me, squeeze my hand
Today is the nineteenth of January
It is difficult, I understand
Morning my darling, my name is Mercy

(A phantoum, adapted from Coronavirus: On shift in intensive care - BBC Newsnight)

 

Night Shift’
In the blue orbit
of a night shift
I glimpse myself
beyond the window
untethered, an astronaut
adrift from my craft
in the bleary otherness
of particles and dust.
If I could reach
through light years
and touch my blue-gloved hand
out there
in the refracted constellation
of flickering monitors,
if I could be heard above
their vital signs
and respiratory hum,
I would ask me
if the earth is still
as beautiful as they say.

 

 

12 May 2021

Our staff at Salisbury District Hospital have long been well regarded for the quality of care and treatment they provide for our patients and for their innovation, commitment and professionalism. This has been recognised in a wide range of achievements and it is reflected in our award of NHS Foundation Trust status. This is afforded to hospitals that provide the highest standards of care.

Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust, Salisbury District Hospital, Salisbury, Wiltshire, SP2 8BJ
T: 01722 336262 E: sft.pals@nhs.net
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