If she had still been living, Florence Nightingale would have been 194 years old on Monday 12th May. To celebrate her birthday and all of the good work nurses do, the 12th May has now become International Nurses Day.
Nurses and midwives make up nearly a third of the staff employed here at the Countess and it is with great pride as a nurse myself, albeit no longer in practice, to reflect on the massive contribution the profession has had on the lives of the many thousands of patients who have passed through our hospital each year.
To be a nurse, a midwife or a member of care staff is an extraordinary role. What they do every day has a deep importance. Nurses are crucial in the drive to help people to stay healthy and well for longer and in promoting health and well-being. They help people to recover from illness, sometimes when they are at their most vulnerable. They support people in living with illness. They provide care and comfort when people’s lives are coming to an end. They care for everyone, from the joy at the beginning of new life to the sadness at its end.
To all nurses at the countess and everywhere thank you.
This year we celebrate our history: 100 years of our Ellesmere Port Hospital, 30 years since our Chester city centre site was opened by Princess Diana and 10 years working as a foundation trust. Now together with our doctors, nurses, midwives and therapists we are writing the story of our hospital of the future.
On the day before International Nurses Day we had our celebration. The service of Thanksgiving and Celebration took place on Sunday 11th May in a packed Chester Cathedral. It was a great opportunity to celebrate with music from the Cheshire Police Band, Cheshire Fire and Rescue Choir, London Fanfare of Trumpets and a solo from a talented local school boy Harry Smallman.
Members of staff shared reflections and tales from the past, including stories of nurses plucking chickens for dinner at Ellesmere Port Hospital. One of our doctor’s Natalie Meara spent hours making a banner specifically for the service which is now on display in the spiritual care centre. The High Sheriff of Cheshire, Susan Sellers also took part in the service which was special as she was Chairman of the hospital for seven years from 1998.
Thank you everyone.
To see more photos from the service, click here to visit our Photo Album on Facebook.