2020 is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale probably the world’s best known nurse.

To mark the occasion the World Health Organisation has declared 2020 the Year of the Nurse, or Year of the Nurse and Midwife as NHS England and Improvement have named it.

Florence Nightingale was a leading reformer of health standards and published extensively on hospital planning and organisation. One of her most famous books, ‘Notes on Nursing: What it is and What it is not’ is still widely read.

Many initiatives promoted by Florence Nightingale are still at the heart of the NHS including; Infection Control, eating a healthy diet and the need for specialist midwifery nurses. She also identified that hospital buildings could affect health outcomes and her ward designs (known as Nightingale Wards) were widely adopted.

What would Florence Nightingale make of the present NHS? Her farsighted ideas and reforms still have an influence on modern healthcare and it’s likely that Florence would quickly adapt to the modern world. The use of data to guide healthcare decisions would certainly be familiar. As the inventor of a type of pie-chart, the Coxcomb Diagram, it’s easy to imagine her being an early adopter of today’s healthcare data and analytic systems. It’s a little-known fact that Florence was the first woman to be elected to the Royal Statistical Society.

For example, Florence Nightingale used statistical charts which showed that more men had died from disease than from their wounds in the two yearlong Crimean War. Florence used these statistics to campaign for medical reform so that lessons were learned, and medical mistakes of the past were not repeated.

I think that Florence would be pleased to see that her vision for nursing has survived into the present day including professional training, recognition for nursing skills and evidence based clinical care.

At HomeLink Healthcare we’ll be marking the Year of the Nurse by celebrating the successes of our nurses who provide much needed care at home to patients who would otherwise have to remain in hospital.
To find out more visit https://homelinkhealthcare.co.uk/

Andy Collett. Head of Business Development

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