Keynotes 2019

Keynotes 2019

“Moral Courage: Meeting the Challenges of a Contemporary Healthcare System”

Our Keynotes for the 34th Annual BACCN Conference in Karin Gerber, Conference Director

Alex Wubbles in her closing keynote session last year in Bournemouth reminded us in a very poignant yet powerful manner that being a nurse means protecting and advocating for your patient even in extreme circumstances. Having the moral courage to do that can be challenging, but it is possible with the empowering support of your team.

Like Alex I’m passionate about patient advocacy and safety and like her I strive to maintain my high standards & passion for nursing care which exists due to both the mentorship and leadership I’ve been exposed to and experienced throughout my nursing career.

With this in mind, I’ve invited the following key note speakers to join us in Edinburgh:

Salisbury Critical Care Team

Back in 2018 this Critical Care team displayed an enormous amount of moral courage whilst dealing with an unprecedented event that lasted for some weeks. The Medical Director of Salisbury DGH stated at the time that: “the attack currently makes up the total world experience of treating people who have been poisoned with novichock, adding - it’s safe to say we’re still learning”.

In an increasingly uncertain and unpredictable world, the prospect of mass casualties as a result of terrorist activity, necessitating on-site critical care support or treatment provided in settings other than intensive care units, is a distinct possibility at any time.  Whatever the cause, the same physiological processes go awry when people become critically ill and they will require critical care expertise.

The team will be sharing their experience of not just the clinical care delivered, but also how they managed a prolonged major incident alongside the significant psychological impact this whole experience had on them as a team and how they dealt with this unprecedented event that played out across the world.

Dame Donna Kinnear

Donna trained in 1983 at the Princess Alexandra School of Nursing at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel which saw her beginning her nursing career working with HIV and intensive care patients, later becoming a health visitor.  She completed her master’s degree in medical law and ethics, which led her to specialise in child protection.

Before her current role within the Royal College of Nursing she was the Clinical Director for Emergency Medicine of a large University Hospital. At the same time, Donna served on the PM’s Commission as nurse and child health assessor to the Victoria Climbie Inquiry – both of which I’m sure required a huge amount of moral courage at the time.

Donna is a passionate nursing advocate and has worked tirelessly across her varied career, striving to work together to face and deal with the various challenges of not just the NHS as a whole but more importantly those that the nursing profession itself faces on a daily basis.

How are you involved in shaping the future of the NHS and nursing profession in order to meet the challenges of a contemporary healthcare system?

Dr Theresa Shaw

The stark reality is that there will never be enough critical care units and enough beds, resources or nurses to care for all people requiring critical care.  Consequently, adaptation, flexibility, resilience and skill-sharing have become fundamental in critical care provision.  This has implications for nursing training, skills development and inter-professionalism.

Theresa is the outgoing CEO of the Foundation of Nursing Studies (FoNS). She’s passionate about nursing and enabling nurses to flourish as caring, knowledgeable and skilled practitioners. As CEO, she is proud of the work FoNS has contributed to this and to developing nursing practice and improving patient experience of care. Her doctoral research offers an important view into the impact of practice development and service improvement activity and ways in which such work can be effective in creating more person-centred practice and culture. 

She has worked in the NHS for many years during which time her experience spanned clinical nursing, nurse education and practice development. Whilst her clinical expertise lies in the field of Cardio-thoracic Nursing, Theresa has worked with and supported nurses and nurse-led teams across the healthcare practice.

I asked Theresa to speak at this year’s event as someone who has personally & professionally benefited from the work that FoNS and Theresa do in setting up a “patient and relative activated rapid response system” (the first of its kind in the UK now nearly 7 years ago). She will share her views on how we can get more critical care nurses involved in the development of not just themselves, but more importantly to continue to develop the art and science of critical care nursing being delivered to our patients and their loved ones every day.

Christie Watson

As a Sunday Times No. 1 Bestselling Author, Christie’s book “The Language of Kindness” is an astounding account of a profession defined by acts of care, compassion and kindness. A nurse with over 20 years experience in a variety of healthcare settings, she has spent most of her career in paediatric intensive care in a large NHS hospital before becoming a resuscitation officer. 

Throughout her nursing career, the things that mattered most were kindness and compassion and she, like many of us, believes we need a conversation about the reality of contemporary healthcare.  With nursing application numbers falling year on year it’s becoming the worst nursing shortage we’ve ever seen and if there’s no international nursing workforce strategy we will witness - very soon – crippled healthcare systems across the world.

With this in mind I’ve asked Christie to be our closing keynote speaker where the BACCN will be joining the World Health Organisation and International Council of Nurses “NursingNow2020” campaign to raise the status and profile of nursing with the aim to take our place at the heart of tackling 21st Century health challenges.  

This session will be the lead in to our 35th BACCN Annual Conference in Nottingham in September 2020 with the title: “Critical Care Nursing: The Next Decade”.

For more information and to register for this year’s event, visit