Celebrating Afro-Caribbean nursing pioneer
This month witnessed the bicentenary of the birth of the Afro-Caribbean nursing pioneer Mary Seacole. Mary has recently been acclaimed as an icon within nursing history, akin to the reputable Florence Nightingale.
London South Bank University, Guys & St. Thomasí NHS Foundation Hospitals Trust and the Royal College of Nursing combined to present a memorable academic seminar in celebration of Maryís life and in recognition of the contribution that black and minority ethnic members of our population have made to the advancement of the art and science of nursing, care and practice in the United Kingdom and across the world.
The Faculty of Health & Social Care hosted the event, to which representatives from each of Londonís universities that have a responsibility for the delivery of non-medical healthcare education were invited. There were 160 delegates, combined with representatives from the Caribbean including the ex Chief Nurse of Jamaica and other notable dignitaries. The latter were supported by student representatives from their host countries.
The event was formally opened by Professor Deian Hopkin and Patricia Moberly, Chair of Guys & St. Thomasís NHS Foundation Hospitals Trust, followed by a welcoming speech by Sir Trevor McDonald, Chancellor of LSBU. The Reverend Dame Sarah Mullally, recently Chief Nursing Officer at the Department of Health for England, provided the keynote speech, which was followed by an outstanding presentation from Baroness Howells of St. Davids.
Students engaged in lively discussion and debate regarding the promotion of the diversity agenda and were able to address questions to leading professional and academic colleagues on contemporary issues affecting their future advancement in the healthcare profession.
Mary Seacoleís own contribution to nursing was also formally celebrated by an historical review, presented by Alex Attewell, Director of the Florence Nightingale Museum at St. Thomasí Hospital.
Posted: 20th May 2005