Sir Hugh Taylor, chair, NHS Foundation Trust
September 2, 2016
Dear Sir Hugh
We are concerned about your statement at the Mary Seacole statue unveiling on June 30 2016, not only because of your demeaning treatment of two adult women – Seacole and Nightingale – to whom you referred by their first names, but to the still unexplained “pioneer” status you accord to Seacole. What did she pioneer? How is her work relevant to nurses or other health professionals, as you claim? We have asked several times.
A new problem. You state that the Seacole charity is “educational” in its “primary purpose” and that it will be “working closely with the Florence Nightingale Museum.” However, since the Seacole campaign is responsible for much misinformation on the subject, we do not see how it can contribute anything “educational.” Are you requiring the Museum to change its terms of reference to add Seacole propaganda? It is supposed to support research on Nightingale.
Until and unless you or they can state clearly what Seacole actually contributed to nursing, we have to assume propaganda is the goal, not education. To our knowledge, Seacole did not nurse one day in her life in any U.K. hospital, or in any hospital in Jamaica, Panama or the Crimea for that matter. She did not write one book or paper on nursing, did not teach or mentor one nurse. How then can she be taught along with Nightingale at the Museum?
[16 members of the Nightingale Society]