Simon Stevens, CEO
Dear Mr Stevens
Re: Mary Seacole Statue to be Erected
Work is going ahead at St Thomas’ Hospital on the site for the proposed Mary Seacole statue, to be labelled “Pioneer Nurse,” on which we have raised vigorous objections (not to a statue anywhere, but not at Nightingale’s Hospital and not labelling a restaurant/bar owner a “Pioneer Nurse’).
Since the full amount of money has not been raised for the statue, we ask, will health care money go into paying for it?
We expect that, should the installation go ahead, the site will become in time a Monument to Political Correctness, or “Hugh and Ron’s Folly” Sir Hugh Taylor, chair of the Trust and Sir Ronald Kerr, chief executive, have been the great promoters of the statue. Their use of blatantly false material to defend use of the hospital site compounds the wrong. Should St Thomas’ be exempt from normal standards of objectivity, fairness and accuracy?
Nightingale wanted her nurses to be “truthful, honest and trustworthy,” which, apart from the redundancy, we think are still worthy qualities. She famously held that hospitals should, first of all, do no harm, and we might add that they, too, should be honest and trustworthy in their own statements.