By Karen Barraclough, Senior Nurse / Head of Governance at NHS Professionals
On Wednesday 7th May we attended the Florence Nightingale Commemoration Service at Westminster Abbey. The annual service celebrates the life and work of Florence Nightingale, while acknowledging today’s nursing and midwifery staff and other individuals who work in healthcare.
The traditional and symbolic Procession of the Lamp was led by Gloria Rowland with an escort of student nurses from the University of the West of England. On arrival before the High Altar, the Lamp was handed to Lee Marklew who, in turn, passed the Lamp to Róisín McKeon-Carter. All three are Florence Nightingale scholars and Lee is currently undertaking a research scholarship into Community Treatment Orders, sponsored by NHS Professionals.
We also invited our Bank Worker of the Month winners to attend the service as our guests. These winners were invited because of their outstanding attitude, work ethic and adherence to the 6Cs (care, compassion, competence, communication, courage and commitment).in all of their work. Those who attended were: Isatu Boima, Anthony Neville, William Wainwright and Vanessa Lowe..
Vanessa Lowe, Bank Worker of the Month for January and reproductive health nurse, said: “I was delighted to receive the tickets for this event. The service was just right, it was serious and thoughtful but not overly formal. There was lots of interaction with other members of the congregation before and afterwards and it was nice to see all areas of nursing there from the armed services, current nurses both qualified and in training, the voluntary sector and those who are retired.
It is important to remember Florence Nightingale and those who followed. We were reminded of the political lobbying that took place to improve services and care for patients, the importance she put on high standards of nurse training and the dedication and commitment that nurses still bring to this role.”
We are proud to support such a worthwhile and inspiring foundation and look forward to next years’ service.