|The Nightingale Society|
Report from Lynn McDonald, 25 April 2015
The Nightingale Society sent letters to three institutions and have replies (or at least acknowledgments) from them:
The NHS director, on the coming Nightingale Bicentenary, who has passed on our letter to the Chief Nursing team and the NHS Leadership Academy, and asked us to liaise with the latter.
Lambeth’s Mayor and Council, on the proposed statue of Mary Seacole, “Pioneer Nurse,” at Nightingale’s hospital, St Thomas’. They say to direct our concerns to St Thomas’.
The president, Cecilia Amin, and CEO, Peter Carter, OBE, of the RCN on the wildly inaccurate presentation of Mary Seacole by the RCN, and poor coverage of Nightingale. Dr Carter replied; did not answer our questions, but did say that he was a “huge admirer of Florence Nightingale,” “one of the most iconic people in British history over the past best part of 200 years,” and flagged her “unparalleled” work in nursing. Her Notes on Nursing were “as relevant today as they would have been all those years ago,” and he praised her “pioneering” use of statistics and work on sanitation. Yes! But we never see any of this in RCN publications or conferences.
The RCN president did not reply at all–nor did the previous one, when we asked similar questions.
Museum Visits and Museum Websites
We have letters out to museum directors, a lot of them, on the propaganda they give on Mary Seacole, and inadequate (or hostile) coverage of Nightingale. Museums invite school visits and use of their websites, thus have an impact on schoolchildren. The letters can be seen here.
Natasha McEnroe, director of the Florence Nightingale Museum has invited people to form a Bicentenary committee, however, omitting mention of the Nightingale Society! We welcome progress on the formation of a committee, but hope that it will include advocates for Nightingale. We can, of course, proceed as an organization in promoting bicentenary events.
Ideas and offers of help here welcome.