The ecosystem of the NHS – why being small matters

Nature and the planet depends on microorganisms and tiny creatures to function . For example dung beetles help improve nutrients in soil by breaking down the poo of animals in the jungle (like the poo of the Orang-Utan) dung beetles therefore improve biodiversity and reduce global warming .

PLANKTON in our oceans feeds many larger creatures and is a necessary part of our food chain.

In the NHS there are many small yet great people who give gigantic care but who are overlooked and perhaps made to feel insignificant by those who see themselves as more important and powerful – For example the quiet unassuming midwife who always seems to be allocated a higher workload than the noisy brash midwife . The maternity support worker who feels she/he doesn’t quite fit in with the labour ward culture so therefore focuses on keeping busy and away from the gossip .

These “small people” are the tiny yet pivotal cogs that keep the NHS running and connect with larger cogs to which they are a necessity – when theses small cogs are absent, they are not considered – yet their absence usually has a powerful and negative impact on production efficiency but because of their quietness, unassuming nature and self effacing ways others rarely realise this .

The most effective person in a team (they may not necessarily be fast but they are 100% compassionate) is massively overlooked , disregarded, ignored for the louder more larger personalities.

Because of this for 2020 International year of the nurse and the midwife I’m asking you to appreciate the quiet worker, the one who doesn’t make a song and dance about everything , the midwife who always seems to give a little bit more , the nurse who doesn’t question her over realistic allocation of work , the health care assistant who promptly answers the patients call buzzer . The quiet inspirer who you see plugging away each day expecting no praise and therefore overshadowed by the more needy peers

I want you to see them as crucial to the fine intricate ecosystem of the NHS and show them your appreciation by trying to reduce their workload by sharing it with them and others who might make more noise .

Validate , praise and nurture ❤️

I’m also appealing for managers to be less self important – try doing some more menial tasks to openly display to your team how know you’re with them and you understand their pressures .

Be kind to one another

Happy 2020 – keep yourself vision clear ❤️

Jenny X

8 thoughts on “The ecosystem of the NHS – why being small matters”

  1. Hello Jenny. Thank you for the recognition as I am one of the quiet ones who continues with integrity, often under duress and stress but my first thought is to the women and the babies that we bring into the world. That is my first priority and always will be. A safe and happy ending. My feelings apart, I was meant to do this job no matter how hard at times. Best wishes.


  2. Although your recognition is greatly appreciated the likeness to plankton and dung beetle is a little thought provoking to think of a more fitting term. I have long gone without recognition for the extra mile and extra time I have endured for many years to see the ones who put no effort in , to get the hugs and recognition just because they have a louder voice than me. I hope I don’t sound bitter because I am not just tired, not because I don’t get recognized but because I don’t get a voice because I am the quiet one. I do however, am a great advocate of skin to skin and have managed to do a presentation in this subject despite my quietness. Nothing gives me more pleasure than to see a mum with her infant after observing her give her blood, sweat and tears to birth her baby to see her so in love with her newborn. Much love.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Cheryl – I wrote the blog after watching Judi Dench in Borneo on ITV . In it she proclaimed how beautiful small things are that people overlook . I immediately thought of all the compassionate midwives I’ve worked with who were often overlooked for promotion because of their quiet nature – one such person I know never lost her temper at work, was always able to see both sides of the story, she stuck up vehemently for the scapegoat and was overlooked so many times . In my career I tried managers posts in midwifery a few times but it just overwhelmed me that I was expected to fit in and be disloyal to those I most admired by agreeing with management which I wouldn’t do . I therefore lived my last 12 years in the NHS as a band 6 midwife supporting others and not talking about my social media work . I really admire your words and what you do and I can tell you are pure gold . I was eventually bullied into retiring as I was made so miserable by a group of midwives and managers that to save my health I walked away . In my blog I am not comparing any quiet worker to an insect I am just trying to help others to recognise the value of the quiet worker question how the quiet worker can be more appreciated. I am so happy to hear about your skin to skin work and THANK YOU – for making me think harder – love Jenny ❤️


      1. Hello Jenny, thank you for replying to my response and thank you for your story. It does bring tears to my eyes that people can be so cruel to others in the workplace so much so that they feel compelled to retire. Again it comes back to your original story of small things that do wonders, when you do feel so undetected and undervalued, it does make you feel that you are useless and that’s why I often have to turn away from it and think of my job, the women and their babies who need my help and that’s what keeps me going. I do apologise if my original statement was harsh, it is just when you often feel small and intimidated I just likened it to that, so thank you to you for making me think again. I do feel a lot of people whatever their status at work and how busy should take a step back and take a few moments to show kindness to others because you never know how that person is feeling behind the smiles. Kindness goes a long way as I’m sure you have shown plenty in your career. Take care.


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