RJAH nurses honour Florence Nightingale and Edith Cavell at Westminster Abbey

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Two members of nursing staff at The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital attended a special service at Westminster Abbey to commemorate Florence Nightingale’s birthday.

Hayley Jones and Karin Evans at Westminster Abbey for the commemoration service
Hayley Jones and Karin Evans at Westminster Abbey for the commemoration service

This years’ service also marked the centenary of the funeral of Edith Cavell – a British nurse who helped over 200 Allied troops escape German-occupied Belgium.

Karin Evans, Practice Development Sister, and Hayley Jones, Staff Nurse, were both selected to represent the Oswestry-based hospital at the event.

The service, titled ‘A Commemoration Service to Honour the Life and Legacy of Edith Cavell and Florence Nightingale’, was organised by the Florence Nightingale Foundation and Cavell Nurses’ Trust.

The commemoration is held annually to celebrate nursing and midwifery across the UK.

Karin said: “The service is up there with one of the best experiences of my life – it was so moving and emotional.

“The whole event made me feel extremely proud to be a nurse and I came away feeling inspired.

“I’m extremely grateful that I was chosen to represent the hospital. It was such a privilege.”

The service included the Florence Nightingale Lamp being carried through the Abbey – Florence Nightingale earned the name “The Lady with the Lamp” as she would visit soldiers at night with a small lantern in her hand during the Crimean War.

Hayley, who works on the Midland Centre for Spinal Injuries, said: “I really enjoyed the service at Westminster Abbey – it was so beautiful.

“I’d like to thank RJAH for choosing me to represent the Trust. It was such an honour and will forever be a highlight of my nursing career.”

HRH Princess Alexandra, the Honourable Lady Ogilvy and Patron of the Florence Nightingale Foundation, also attended the event which was conducted by the Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall.

Sarah Bloomfield, Interim Director of Nursing, said: “It was fantastic to be able to send two of our amazing nurses to attend the service at Westminster Abbey.

“Florence Nightingale and Edith Cavell are such prominent and significant figures to nurses worldwide and I can only imagine how moving the service was to honour both their lives.

“I’m so pleased Karin and Hayley were able to represent the Trust – they both live our values every day.”

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