Catherine Rutland congratulates Roger Matthews for being awarded an MBE.

When I took over writing this column from Roger Matthews almost two years ago, I reflected on the influence he had been on me, the passion we both shared for this profession and how grateful I was to be able to have had him as a mentor.

I wrote: ‘At the core of Roger, myself and many of you is our wish to treat patients well, to work in teams that we can support and nurture and who also support us, to respect our peers, and to strive to help to further improve our profession in whatever little way we can.’

It will be therefore no surprise to you to hear of my joy and pride on discovering he had been awarded an MBE.

The piece was about reflection and on looking at that quote I can definitely reflect that maybe I shouldn’t have put Roger and little in the same sentence!

His tireless work, which despite supposedly having ‘retired’ is still ongoing, to improve the profession for those of us in it and for patient care is still an inspiration to me.

To start the new year with such news renews my purpose of what I do.

Renewed purpose

Last year was a challenging year in so many ways and as for all of us, we have times when it can be hard to be sure we are on the right track.

When the days are short and largely dark, it can be hard to feel that we are making the difference we want.

All around me are discussions on IDD, IRMER changes and GDPR.

Despite the things we have to do it is important not to lose track of the things we don’t ‘have’ to do.

Of course, compliance is necessary, but for most of us it is not what fulfils us and rarely makes us feel we are making a difference.

As Roger has shown, we can make a difference.

It doesn’t have to be recognised by an MBE; a smile on a patient’s face, a thank you from a colleague, all remind us daily why we do what we do and keep us going.

Have passion for what you do, work well with the people around you and be true to yourself in 2018 and you will make a difference.