|The Nightingale Society|
Report from Lynn McDonald, 3 June 2015
A new, 30-minute BBC film on Nightingale is now out, available only in the UK on “One Show” Iplayer. It is on her last will and testament. For what it’s worth … May 18 2015. (If you google One Show, Nightingale May 18 2015 it comes up.)
Nursing Times on the Seacole statue
An item in Nursing Times of May 18, “Fundraising Problems May Delay Mary Seacole Statue,” reports the gap of £70,000. Chair of the campaign committee, Lord Soley, warns that work on the statue will “come to a halt,” and delay the unveiling. The story repeats the usual misinformation about Seacole, that her club for officers provided food and nursing care for ordinary soldiers. Again, Seacole’s several forays onto the battlefield, post-battle, have been transmogrified into treating “the sick and wounded of both sides of the battlefields,” without explaining how soldiers got sick on the battlefield, when battles were over in a few hours.
A later statement by the appeal vice-chair said “late autumn.”
Nightingale Society Letters to Officials
The Nightingale Society has sent letters raising concerns about the propriety of going ahead on the statue when the funding has not all been raised, notably as to liability if it is not. Should health care been diverted to paying for a statue? And what happens when people begin to realize that Seacole — a perfectly decent person whose life is worth celebrating — was not the “Pioneer Nurse” claimed. Or close to what claimed for her. We ask questions. Historical fictions may have their day, but we suspect there will be unhappiness when people realize they have been badly misled.
You can see the letters here:
- To Simon Stevens, CEO, NHS England
- To Mayor and Councillors of the London Borough of Lambeth
- To Sir Hugh Taylor and Sir Ron Kerr , chair and CEO respectively of Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust
Can You Help?
How about adding the letter to a newspaper or community paper or website? Nursing Times permits them from non-subscribers — you simply have to sign on for temporary access (I did).
London SE1 is a community website for Lambeth; try posting on it: http://www.london-se1.co.uk/contact/