Welcome to new members of the Nightingale Society, especially those who joined at a nursing alumnae event in Guelph, Ontario, in May.
Alert! The Nightingale Society is now on Twitter as @NightingaleSoc. Have a look–you will also find a link on the website. Re-tweet. We will be saying more.
The Seacole statue
The site is being prepared at St Thomas’ Hospital for the Mary Seacole statue (see photo above), although the full funding has not been raised. We have received no information as to who will pay for any gap, only that it will not be NHS money.
The statue may well, alas, go ahead at Nightingale’s hospital. If we can’t stop it (fine to put it somewhere else, albeit without the false claim of “Pioneer Nurse”), we can at least continue to point out how wrong it is. Rain on their parade. No one should feel proud of convincing people that a kindly businesswoman who was a volunteer magazine lady at one of Nightingale’s hospitals, who gave first aid on 3 occasions, after the battle, and generally was a decent person was a “Pioneer Nurse.”
We will continue to point out that adding lead and mercury to “remedies” does not constitute nursing, let alone “pioneer nursing.” Should every volunteer magazine distributor be named “Pioneer Nurse”?
Follow-up letter to St Thomas’ Hospital
A letter has gone to Sir Ron Kerr, CEO for the Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, one of the “two Sirs”. He is the one who replied to our last letter, but with zero information as to what Seacole did to merit her being named “Pioneer Nurse.” We say:
Thank you for your reply of June 9 2015.We are very aware of the misinformation Lord Soley and his organization put out. If he has made any retractions or apologies, we would be glad to hear of them, so contact would be welcome. Thank you. We note that the statue campaign website no longer displays the Crimean medal with 4 clasps, which Seacole did not win. However, no apology for the false claim has ever appeared.That Lord Soley’s organization supplies misinformation does not justify the Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust using it. We note that neither you nor Sir Hugh has ever given so much as one instance to justify the title “Pioneer Nurse” on the planned statue. We ask again. Failure to document any pioneering nursing should mean removal of the claim on the statue. Please respond.
We note your response that Trust funds will not go to funding the statue, but remain concerned about site preparation. Will a hole be left if the money is not raised? Who pays for looking after an empty site? Did anyone calculate the extra security that will likely be required when the statue loses its lustre? i.e., when political correctness no longer holds sway and people resent being taken in by your propaganda campaign?
Finally, we note the failure of the Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust ever to retract the misinformation it circulated in 2011 to justify the statue in the first place. We remain with Nightingale in the view that nurses should be “honest, truthful and trustworthy,” and would want the hospital of her school to meet this standard, too. That you have not requires attention and redress.
10 members of the Nightingale Society
copy: Dr Ronald Trubuhovich, OMNZ, FRCA, FANZCA–whose letter to you with pertinent concerns remains unanswered.