Published on: 11 May 2022

A series of events are helping recognise local nurses, midwifes and operating department practitioners who have tirelessly worked through the COVID-19 pandemic.

The celebrations began on Thursday, May 5, as part of International Day of the Midwife, which is followed by International Nurses Day, which is held every May 12, with ODP (Operating Department Practioner) Day on Saturday, May 14.

The launch of the first celebration signalled the start of a week of events for South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust.

It has also provied an opportunity to promote the roles and opportunities for the next generation of healthcare professionals.

The sessions have included breakfast and lunch gatherings with Trust leaders and training sessions to help guide them on the next step in their career.

It comes as part of the Trust’s wider work to support the career development of its staff in its hospitals and community teams, as well as bring in new colleagues as the NHS continues to recover from the pandemic.

Melanie Johnson, Executive Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professionals, said: “These days give us an extra chance to thank and celebrate the care and dedication of our staff in these roles.

“It has been an especially challenging time during the pandemic and they have been side by side with their colleagues as they looked after our patients in the most difficult of circumstances.

“It is a real joy that we can now hold events in person and continue our education programme online as we recognise the part they play in making our organisation what it is and offer them the opportunity to develop their careers.

“These awareness events also give us the chance to reach out to people who are interested in learning more about coming part of our workforce, champion our region as the fantastic place it is and show how they can make a real difference by caring for others.”

The Trust runs a series of initiatives to support people into careers, including the Get Into Nursing and Get Into OPD programmes, which sees them work as a Health Care Assistant (HCA) for six months before they begin a three-year qualification.

It runs a Preceptorship programme for newly qualified nurses, midwives and allied health professionals, which builds on their training and allocates them a mentor as they refine their skills.

A career advice support service is run to help those looking to progress, while the Trust works closely with the region’s student nurses to help them transition into roles within its hospitals and community teams.

The Trust also continues to recruit internationally, with 100 nurses brought into the organisation from overseas during 2022.

Work is also underway to attract midwives, as well as radiographers, through this route for the first time.

Anyone interested in finding out more about careers at STSFT can visit or email for further details.