The Florence Nightingale Foundation celebrated the Golden Jubilee of its Commemoration Service at Westminster Abbey on Wednesday, 6 May 2015. The 50th Anniversary saw student nurses and midwives from the University of Bangor, Swansea University, Cardiff University and University of South Wales escort the traditional and symbolic Procession of the Lamp, which was led by Sam Foster, chief nurse at Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust. On arrival before the High Altar, the Lamp was handed to Sithembile Chinaire who, in turn, passed the Lamp to Natalie Yates-Bolton.
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.
Sharon Cullen, deputy chief nurse, Princess Alexandra Hospital said: “I felt honoured to be given the opportunity to attend the commemorative service, especially on its 50th anniversary. I have been nursing for over 30 years and this is the first time I have been able to attend Westminster Abbey for the ceremony. I found it very moving to be among so many nurses from all different backgrounds, including student nurses embarking on their career.
“The service itself was very uplifting; the focus was on the values that form the legacy of Florence Nightingale; compassion, caring and kindness underpinned by science and research to ensure that the best possible standards are delivered for the benefit of the sick and the suffering. The readings and hymns reflected these values and gave a real sense of hope and constancy.
“For me, the commemoration of Florence Nightingale is important because her work and her values remain the cornerstone of nursing today. Nurses are integral to the delivery of healthcare today. We struggle to ensure that we have the right number of nurses with all the required skills to deliver care to patients, and occasions like Wednesday evening serve to remind us of why we are in the profession. It encourages us to help increase the number of people embarking on a career, not just in nursing, but in all aspects of care.
“Thank you to NHS Professionals for giving me the opportunity to attend the service.”
NHS Professionals is proud to support such a worthwhile and inspiring foundation and look forward to next years’ service.