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Plaque to honour Florence Nightingale at annual nursing service

Published 07/04/2014

A plaque in honour of Florence Nightingale is to be presented to Derby Cathedral as part of a service and parade in recognition of nursing.

The NHS and universities in Derby and Nottingham are joining together for the celebration, which takes place on Saturday, May 17 2014 marking International Nurses Week.

It will see nurses, midwives and other carers from around Derbyshire make a procession through Derby city centre to Derby Cathedral, where they will take part in a commemorative public service.

The event is being organised by the Cathedral and Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which operates the Royal Derby Hospital, London Road Community Hospital and community services. 

The procession, which begins at 10.30am outside St Peter’s Church in Derby, will be led by nurses in period dress and supported by many colleagues in current day uniform.

From there they will walk to Derby Cathedral, where the public service will begin at 11am, with people attending advised to be seated by 10.45am.

The address will be given by Professor Lynn McDonald, author of The Collected Works of Florence Nightingale, with a reading by Liz Robb, chief executive of the Florence Nightingale Foundation.

After this, a plaque newly sited in Derby Cathedral, commemorating the work of Florence Nightingale will be dedicated by the Bishop of Derby, The Right Revd Dr Alastair Redfern.

The plaque, carved by local stone mason John Shaw, who was brought up in Derby and studied at the former Derby College of Art, celebrates the strong links Florence Nightingale has to Derbyshire.

Free tickets for the service will be available at the Cathedral Bookshop, at 18/19  Iron Gate, from April 7 2014 or by contacting the Cathedral Offices on 01332 341201, email lucille@derbycathedral.org

John Rivers, chairman of Derby Hospitals, said: “This service is a celebration of Florence’s life and an opportunity to reflect on how her legacy still influences nursing today.

“It is particularly appropriate for the service to be held in Derby Cathedral as Florence Nightingale was brought up in Derbyshire and the plaque which will be presented to the cathedral on the day will forever commemorate the connection she had with the area.

“The procession beforehand promises to be quite a sight, and gives people the opportunity to recognise the dedication and professionalism of the hard working nurses we have here in Derbyshire.”

Florence Nightingale was born in Florence, Italy, but mainly raised in Derbyshire. She is most famous for her role treating the wounded during the Crimean War, imposing high standards of hygiene on makeshift wards.

But she also had a role advising on a redevelopment of the Derbyshire General Infirmary in the 1860s.

In honour of her work, Florence was immortalised with a statue on the site and the whole area is to be named the Nightingale Quarter in recognition of the woman dubbed ‘The Lady with the Lamp’.

Last Modified 07/04/2014