|The Nightingale Society|
Report from Lynn McDonald, 28 September 2015
The Nightingale Society has sent a new round of letters protesting the eyesore at St Thomas’ Hospital, the planned statue site, now a barren field–a beautiful garden of roses and mature shrubs was destroyed for it. The hospital went ahead with site preparation although the funds for the statue had not all been raised. The project is delayed now from “skyrocketing costs,” in fact the failure of the statue planners to cost the work properly.
We have sent letters to Lambeth councillors, the mayor of London and the chair and CEO of the Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust.
Proposed Seacole “Memorial Garden”
Lord Soley, chair of the Seacole statue campaign, is now promoting a further project, a Seacole “Memorial Garden” to honour “nurses killed in conflict zones.” This would link Seacole’s name with those of actual nurses killed while nursing in war, although she only attended 3 battles in her entire life, to sell food and drinks to spectators, then gave first aid on the field afterwards. She deserves credit for many kindnesses, but to equate this with the risks undertaken by real battlefield nurses is to diminish their sacrifices.
We have sent letters to two army chiefs inquiring how far this proposal has gone. Commented military historian Major (ret.) Colin Robins, OBE and editor emeritus of The War Correspondent:
We now have a social media person sending out tweets on the Seacole statue and associated misrepresentation. https://twitter.com/NightingaleSoc
U.K. Trip, Spring 2016
I plan to be in the U.K. for at least two months next spring, for two speaking engagements/conferences and research.
- Commonwealth Nurses and Midwives Conference, London, March 12-13 2016 (I am speaking on Nightingale’s nurse mentoring).
- Oxford Brookes University (April 19 2016), an anniversary of nurse training in Oxford (my talk is on the stormy start to professional nursing at the Radcliffe Infirmary–difficulties in getting professional nursing started were typical).
March Meeting of the Nightingale Society, London
Thanks to Dr Eileen Magnello for booking space at the Royal Statistical Society, as before, for planning meetings regarding the Nightingale Bicentenary, 2020. Two dates have been reserved, to facilitate separate time for U.K. and other Commonwealth countries (Commonwealth nurses and midwives in London for a conference), March 14 and 15, 2016. Specifics to come later.