I am very proud of all of the people I have ever met who are Nurses, Midwives or who work in the NHS in contexts that help to make the settings better for all of us. One of my friends is Lynn and she is a Midwife, she is someone who has seen far more people brought into this world than anyone else I know and she is very patient and very passionate about the work she does. Another friend is Cathy who is a Nurse who works in School settings and again she has been very hard working over many years. I have also had the privilege to meet on several occasions Lisa Rodrigues who had been a nurse for some years before she became the CEO of the Sussex mental health NHS Trust. One of Lisa’s passions is to promote the history of Mary Seacole who like Florence Nightingale was a vital health based entrepreneur in the Crimean War. Today is Florence’s 200th Anniversary and we are being asked to shine lights from 8.30pm as a way of supporting Nurses and we will certainly do so from our home. According to the British Library Florence was a social reformer and a statistician as well as the founder of modern nursing. Although today is not Mary Seacole’s Birthday (she was born on 23rd November) she would have been 215 this year and she is described as a businesswoman as well as a nurse and she was from Jamaica. Although she was born in November she died on 14th May 1881 so perhaps we could shine lights for the next two nights to acknowledge both women as well as acknowledging that the whole of this year is dedicated to nurses and midwives.
Along with the people I mentioned who were or are nurses there are several other people I know or have met or had the privilege to work with who are committed to improving our health sector. These people include a friend of mine who is Sue and she like my other friends works here in Sussex as do a number of other people who I work with in helping them to arrange and coordinate the training settings for their health professions which includes many Nurses and Midwives and then at a strategic level I have had the opportunity to meet Candy Morris and Yvonne Doyle, both of whom I met through the South East of England Regional Assembly (SEERA) which a decade ago gave some of us the opportunity to try to improve our provision in a number of ways including the health arrangements for our region. Yvonne Doyle has been appearing on TV on recent weeks to talk about COVID-19 along with some Government Ministers so although her work is not related to caring for people with C-19, she is working very hard on our behalf and I look forward to seeing her on future sessions.
Tonight is a chance to say thank you to all of these people and the many thousands of people who are working on our behalf to save the lives of the many people in our nation.